As L’Arche founder Jean Vanier writes in his book Be Not Afraid, living together is difficult for human beings. Bring together a group of people who are very different in their origins, customs, and ways of thinking, and you will certainly have tension and squabbling.
Yet the beauty of L’Arche is that when a group of people comes together for the purpose of seeking the fulfillment, peace, and happiness of every other member in it, the barriers begin to drop, mutual confidence grows, and homes become a place where you can sense peace, openness, and welcome.
L’Arche Greater Washington, D.C. is part of an international L’Arche movement to imagine community differently: a community where people with and without intellectual disabilities (known as core people and assistants, respectively) share their lives, where the weakest members are given a place of honor and their gifts called forth, where mutual relationships and trust in God are at the heart of our life together.
Today, L’Arche Greater Washington, D.C. is a vibrant community with 16 core people at its center in four communal homes. Life together encompasses sharing homes, providing personalized support, and advocating for one another. The symbolism of our name, which means the ark in French, is just as appropriate today as it was when Jean Vanier opened the first L’Arche home in France 50 years ago—a place where people can find safety from life’s raging storms.
Thank you, friends, for being part of our life together.
Fr. Thomas P. Gaunt, SJ
At L’Arche Greater Washington, D.C., community life centers on four homes where sixteen core people, members with intellectual disabilities, live together with the people who support them. In addition to these life-long homes, L’Arche provides professional-support services and seeks ways for core people to be actively engaged in the social, civic, and spiritual life of Greater Washington, D.C.
Thank you to the many generous donors whose financial gifts supplement government contracts, making a holistic, high-quality life possible for L’Arche members.
Summary of L’Arche’s Fiscal Year 2013 Audited Financial Statement:
Revenue and Expenses, October 1, 2012-September 30, 2013