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50 Weeks of L’Arche Erie! – Week 2

Let’s take week 2 to talk about our amazing Home Leaders and Assistants in our Community.

What is an Assistant:

To be an Assistant is first and foremost about being a friend. It is about sharing a home, sharing meals, sharing spirituality, and sharing the joys and sorrows of daily life. Assistants live and serve alongside people with intellectual disabilities (Core Members) to build an intentional, mutually supportive Community where every member is celebrated for their unique gifts, given an equal voice, and motivated toward a greater purpose. While committed to this mission, Assistants are also trained to offer direct support for the various needs of Core Members. This creates a distinct, formative experience in each person’s story that extends L’Arche’s message of both advocacy and hope into the larger Community.

What does an Assistant do?

While the primary goal of Assistants is to develop mutual relationships with Core Members, build Community, and spread hope, there are a number of responsibilities that accompany the role. Assistants are trained as qualified caregivers to provide direct support for Core Members in activities of daily living, financial management, medical care, and transportation. Assistants also help to maintain the homes by preparing meals, tending the gardens, cleaning common spaces, and doing other household tasks.

Assistants accompany our Core Members to social events, weekend gatherings, and are encouraged to participate themselves to the extent they wish. At L’Arche we never want our Core Members to feel as though they are being taken care of, rather living life alongside of our Assistants and Home Leaders.

We are simply put; sharing life together.

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