L’Arche Chicago opened as the 14th community in the United States. Having a L’Arche community in the Chicago area was a desire held by an ecumenical group of people since the 1980s. This group, initiated and inspired by individuals who had once lived in L’Arche, sponsored “Faith and Sharing” retreats, invited Jean Vanier and Henri Nouwen to give presentations, prayed together, and made friends with persons with intellectual disabilities.
L’Arche Chicago was officially born in June 2000, when Elbert was welcomed as the founding core member. In August 2009, prompted by our core members and assistants and supported by our board and friends, L’Arche Chicago opened a new apartment. Today there are eight core members and six assistants sharing life together in our community’s two homes. We continue to cultivate a hospitaible environment where mutually transforming relationships with people with and without disabilities are formed and celebrated.