We have come a long way as a society, but even today, people with developmental disabilities are often marginalized.
As children they may be included in our daycares and schools, but what happens when they reach adulthood? For parents, the challenge is having the emotional and physical strength to continue to support them as they age, and what happens if they want more independence?
We know that living conditions are crucial to health, but if these individuals want - or need - to leave their family home, where do they go? If they become isolated or alone, they can easily get lost in the crowd and their needs may not take a priority.
OUR HOMES AND PROGRAMS
Home life is the cornerstone of L'Arche. It is in the home that mutual relationships come to life with each person contributing as they are able. Meaningful work and day time activities are essential to a person's dignity and self-worth and are the focus of our community inclusion programs.
L'Arche Greater Vancouver operates six homes and two community inclusion programs that support 39 individuals with developmental disabilities.
Unique to the L'Arche model is that assistants come to live, work and participate in the community, building meaningful, mutual friendships with members with developmental disabilities. During their stay of one or more years, these assistants, who are often young people, discover their gifts and the gifts of others.
People who live at L'Arche are aging and many have mobility issues, requiring a fully accessible building. Our building is nearly 50 years old and has become costly to operate and needs extensive upgrades.
Taking full advantage of our existing property, our plan is to build a new three-story wood frame structure. Through innovative design, it will address the urgent need for full accessibility, allow community members to age in a place and provide us with the ability to expand both our residential living and community inclusion programs.
Our plan also includes the addition of affordable renal accommodation that will create options for those who would like to live in close proximity to L'Arche in order to participate and contribute to our life together.