L’Arche Mobile was established in 1974 when Janice Risse invited Debra Moore to live with her. Supported by a local Board of Directors, the community has grown to include 18 people with intellectual disabilities and 50 team members who work together in four homes and our activity center. L’Arche also offers a place of retreat and prayer for community members. An activity center provides work opportunities for 15 people from the community and 3 form their own homes with intellectual disabilities and 7 team members.
L’Arche Mobile is a Christian community where people with intellectual disabilities share life together as a family with non-disabled people called team members. Most L’Arche Mobile residents came from state institutions where they have had little contact with their own families. For those who have spent their lives being shifted from one institution to another, L’Arche is a refuge and a permanent home. For many, L’Arche is their first encounter with an environment where family, friends and relationships have real meaning. L’Arche Mobile is a permanent member of the International Federation of L’Arche.
L’Arche Mobile continues to grow. We have welcomed several new core members that grew up with their families. We also have welcomed three new core members that do not live in the community, but attend our activity center daily or several times a week.
We also offer in home support to families, where a person with intellectual disabilities comes to our activity center during the day then spends one or more nights in one of our houses. Alternatively, we will send a team member to a family to provide support and companionship.
Our community is a place in which members with diverse backgrounds share life together with no distinction made because of race, religious tradition or social class. Primary concern is given to serving people with an intellectual disability who are in greatest need.
The L’Arche Mobile activity center focuses on the needs and abilities of each person. Typical projects include activities such as recycling paper to make stationery, weaving, card making, painting and making awards for our various fundraisers. Each person’s activities focus on accomplishing a goal in the work place. Our activity center also focuses on individual and small group outings, music, daily prayer and worship, fun theme days and welcoming volunteers and volunteer groups.
We strive to create homes where faithful relationships based on forgiveness and celebrations are nurtured. We want to reveal the unique value and vocation of each person, and to live relationships in community as a sign of hope and love.