The mission of L’Arche Spokane is to create and live Christian community among people with developmental disabilities and those who assist them in their homes. The basis of life in the community is to witness to the Gospel values of love, faith, hope, peace, simplicity of life, forgiveness, celebration, and welcome. The community strives to nurture each member in all aspects of his or her life from daily living skills to relationships and faith.
L’Arche Spokane is a community of two homes where core members (adults with developmental disabilities) live together with assistants, who are full-time live-in care providers. The core members and assistants share their lives in Christian community-like families. The assistants devote a year or more of their lives to service and life sharing, seeking to share the gift of people with developmental disabilities with each other and with the world, and supporting, assisting, and teaching the core members in all aspects of their lives to give them the best quality of life possible. Our daily lives are full of many activities: household chores, errands, meetings, appointments, meals, assistance with personal hygiene, activities, relationships with each other and with families and friends, and prayer. To aid in the daily life of the community, we have many volunteers, respite providers, work study students, and friends of the community.
L’Arche Spokane began in 1976 when Sister Mary Hurly, SNJM, welcomed Richard Deshon and Walter Walls, two men with developmental disabilities, to live in community with her at the vacant convent at St. Paschal’s church. After a few years and much growth in numbers, the community moved to a farm in Mead so the community could enjoy regular productive work. The community has been in the Gonzaga University neighborhood since 1989 and enjoys active participation in the life of the city of Spokane. When the community moved into town, they purchased Harvest House and Nazareth House which made up the community until 2002 when the addition of Trinity House. In the spring of 2010 they found it necessary to sell Nazareth House and currently have 12 core members housed in Harvest House and Trinity House. It is an active and welcoming community with with many friends and supporters.