About Us

L’Arche Greater Washington, D.C. is a community of people with and without intellectual disabilities sharing life together. We celebrate the unique value of every person, recognizing and accepting our need of one another and building relationships that transform all of us.

As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, L’Arche GWDC provides housing and support services to adults with intellectual disabilities, and serves hundreds of people in the wider community, of many different backgrounds, by offering a place of belonging and growth. Our community life centers on relationships, led by “core members,” the adults with intellectual disabilities who live in L’Arche homes. People come from all over the country and the world to visit L’Arche and learn from core members, our mission, and our model.


We have three focus areas: Community, Service, and Advocacy.


Charles and Edna share a moment. Photo by Ryan Donnell.

L’Arche is a model for us as a Christian community. —Rev. Tim Malone, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Arlington, Virginia



L’Arche is an inter-denominational Christian community that welcomes people of all backgrounds to share life together. Our community life is centered around four communal homes and the core members who live there.


Each community member is encouraged to discover and deepen his or her spiritual life and live it according to his or her particular faith and tradition. Those who have no religious affiliation are also welcomed and respected in their freedom of conscience.


Participate in community life:


Professional Services

Eric and Sophia bake bread. Photo by Ryan Donnell.

It was so special for me to see how dedicated L’Arche is to providing care and comfort to another human being. —Rosa Harris, Physical Therapist, National Rehabilitation Hospital


Health care professionals, attorneys, government agencies, and advocates in the disability field herald L’Arche as one of the best providers of community-based care for people who have intellectual disabilities.


What makes the difference?


The emphasis on mutual relationship between core members and assistants creates an environment of love and trust where quality care is a matter of friendship, not just a job. L’Arche assistants are not medical professionals,  but they are trained to administer medication and to recognize potential medical conditions.


How you can help:

  • Apply to be an assistant
  • Donate to help us cover the costs of training assistants



Virginia community members participating in the NDSS Buddy Walk Spring 2018 on Capitol Hill.

The way L’Arche integrates core people into society breaks down barriers and misimpressions. By doing that they’re changing the world. —Bill Zavarello, L’Arche neighbor and friend


For generations, people with intellectual disabilities have been ignored, left out, and spoken for. L’Arche aims to change that by advocating with people who have intellectual disabilities for the rights and dignity they deserve.


Advocacy can mean working to change policies to give core people more freedom, calling a reporter to help illuminate problems in our system, or calling an insurance company and spending an hour on the phone. Most often, advocacy means asking questions and really listening to the answer, then joining our voices together to speak up for change.



Become an advocate:

  • Invite L’Arche to share its message at your office, place of worship, or home