Being a L’Arche Assistant

Living L'Arche

Be a friend. Be an advocate. Be as you are.

To be an Assistant is first and foremost about being a friend. It is about sharing a home, sharing meals, sharing spirituality, and sharing the joys and sorrows of daily life. Assistants live and serve alongside people with intellectual disabilities (Core Members) to build an intentional, mutually supportive community where every member is celebrated for their unique gifts, given an equal voice, and motivated toward a greater purpose. While committed to this mission, Assistants are also trained to offer direct support for the various needs of Core Members. This creates a distinct, formative experience in each person’s story that extends L’Arche’s message of both advocacy and hope into the larger community.

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Serving Others

What Does an Assistant Do?

While the primary goal of Assistants is to develop mutual relationships with Core Members, build community, and spread hope, there are a number of responsibilities that accompany the role. Assistants are trained as qualified caregivers to provide direct support for Core Members in activities of daily living, financial management, medical care, licensing documentation, and transportation. Assistants also help to maintain the homes by preparing meals, tending the gardens, cleaning common spaces, and doing other household tasks.

There is much to do in the daily life of an Assistant, but with an entire community’s support, much able to be accomplished. (Note: Responsibilities may vary depending on specific community or Core Member needs.)

Qualifications To Become An Assistant

  • Be at least 18-21 years old depending on the locale of the L’Arche community.
  • Have an interest in building intentional community.
  • Show capacity for creativity, flexibility, attention to detail, and teamwork.
  • Desire to work and develop mutual relationships with people with disabilities. (Note: Prior experience working with people with disabilities is not a requirement.)

To read the different role descriptions for L’Arche Assistants, click here.

International Assistants

As members of an international federation, an important part of L’Arche’s mission is to welcome Assistants across cultures and nations. International Assistants are invited to live and serve in L’Arche USA communities where their distinct perspectives will be respected and valued. L’Arche is committed to celebrating diversity in every capacity, and welcoming Assistants from other cultural origins only makes communities stronger and more accepting to all.

If you are not from the US and don’t have a work permit you can still apply to serve as a year-long Volunteer Assistant. Click here for additional details.

Put Your Skills into Service

Ways to Live L'Arche Life

Many Assistants admit to not having fully understood community, spirituality, acceptance, or even themselves before sharing life with L’Arche. It is an experience unlike any other, and one that offers a profound grasp on what it means to be human—to build meaningful relationships, to inspire equality, and to welcome others just as they are. Is this the place for you? Join us as we celebrate the big and small moments of daily life together, and attempt to be a sign of hope in the world. We will be so excited to welcome you home.

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