Learn all you need to know about L’Arche Chicago with the information below.
New friends and exciting opportunities are just around the corner!
We are currently looking for applicants who have strong social skills, emphasize the dignity of every human being, and are kind-hearted and compassionate. All applicants must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or equivalent, have a valid driver’s license, and be able to pass a background check.
L’Arche Chicago has three homes in the Chicagoland area about 10 miles west of downtown. Two of our homes are in the suburb of Forest Park and our original home is on the dividing line (Austin Blvd) between the city and suburb. We are well connected with the Oak Park neighborhood and are planning to build a new fourth home that is located in south Oak Park. We have an office location in the heart of Forest Park on Madison St.
All three homes are close to a variety of restaurants, breweries/bars, coffee shops, and gyms. Community members regularly take advantage of the city nearby to go to shows, concerts, and museums, as well as various forest preserves, city parks, and Lake Michigan, which boasts a 18.5 mile trail of beaches, parks, and walking/biking paths.
Public transportation is very accessible. All three of our homes are close to the elevated train that connects to the CTA network of Chicago, providing easy access into the city and around the area. Many of our community members regularly use the Blue Line to commute to and from our homes.
In many ways, L’Arche Chicago reflects the diversity of our city and welcomes people from all backgrounds and walks of life into our community. There are 11 core members, who are anywhere between 24 and 77 years old. Some core members have been here for over 20 years, while some have joined our community as recently as last year. Core members are deeply involved in the greater Chicago community: playing sports through Special Olympics (founded in Chicago!), working as professional artists at Arts of Life, working at local grocery stores, and volunteering at animal shelters and churches.
Our assistants come to L’Arche Chicago from a variety of places, as well. Some are current college students or recent graduates, while others are working professionals or retirees. We also regularly welcome international assistants from countries such as Brazil, Germany, Italy, Kenya, and South Africa.
Also, one of our homes has a beloved four-legged community member, a dog named Allie!
While our community was established in 2000, it is still growing and changing. We opened a second and third home in the last ten years, with plans to open a fourth home underway. Many of the original core members continue to call L’Arche Chicago their home, choosing to continue living in community and guide us forward together.
We are constantly shifting to meet the evolving needs of core members and support their independence in new and innovative ways. All the while, we strive to stay grounded in our founding values of living in mutuality and relationship with one another. We have many people in leadership who have been members of L’Arche Chicago for 5+ years, and at the same time continue to effectively welcome people brand new to L’Arche. We have a well established community leader who has been with L’Arche Chicago the majority of our community’s existence.
What you should know before coming
All we ask is that you come in with a genuine heart and a willingness to grow from your experience. We are not seeking perfect assistants, but rather assistants who are simply open to both the joys and challenges of sharing life together.
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