At the heart of L’Arche is the relational support we provide to people with intellectual disabilities in our communities. Through our five Communities in Australia we offer a range of high quality personal support, person centered accommodation support, the opportunity to practice your spirituality and to live a meaningful life. Some people are supported in their own homes for a few hours per week whereas others are supported twenty-four hours a day in households located in local communities.
Highly motivated live-in and live-out Assistants who have chosen to share life with people with intellectual disabilities (Core Members) in households or live close in close proximity provide support. Integral to the model of support is Community. For L’Arche, this refers to the group of people who share common values and who come together regularly in friendship to interact, share a meal and enjoy each others’ company.
All of our houses provide good quality accommodation for Core Members and where appropriate they are adapted to the needs of the people supported. They are places where people experience a real sense of being at home. We all know that a home is more than a house, it is the place we feel comfortable to be in, both physically and emotionally, where we can be ourselves and be surrounded by friends and people who care and we care about.
L’Arche Communities are vibrant places of welcome, belonging and celebration with a clear commitment to offer Core Members the opportunities to lead fulfilling lives regardless of their disability. We support people with intellectual disabilities to be as included and involved as far as possible in all aspects of their lives including:
- Developing personal life skills
- Completing domestic tasks
- Faith development
- Personal care
- Community activities
- Voluntary work
- Health care needs
L’Arche deliberately structures our Communities, from how decisions are made in households to wider Community matters, to give Core Members a voice and decision-making authority. This is one strategy we use that demonstrates our real and natural commitment to living and implementing person centeredness practices