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L'Arche London - Responding to the Needs of the Community since 1991
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Submitted by L'Arche London

Mission Statement: We are people, with and without intellectual disabilities, sharing life in communities belonging to an International Federation. Mutual relationships and trust in God are at the heart of our journey together. We celebrate the unique value of every person and recognize our need of one another.

The history of L'Arche dates back 50 years to 1964 when humanitarian, Jean Vanier, established the first home in France. He aspired to have a model as an alternative to the often appalling institutional conditions which many individuals with developmental disabilities lived. Jean Vanier's vision became L'Arche, after Noah's Ark, symbolizing both the security and challenge of a new beginning. L'Arche is a place of welcome to young and old, from diverse background and abilities and different faith traditions.

L'Arche today is now an international federation in 40 countries, reaching out to over 140 communities. Each is unique with its own culture and history, yet the same in embracing the vision of Jean Vanier. Every community represents a steadfast respect for both the needs and gifts its members.

Locally, L'Arche London was founded in 1991. In subsequent years, between 1997 and 2008, L'Arche responded to the needs of our local community by opening 3 residential homes and providing caring support and services to the core members. This includes activities such as music, art, drama and life skills, recreational, therapeutic opportunities.

As the demand for services escalated, the provision of programs expanded to the general community. Through the generosity of several community partners, space has been provided subject to availability in church basements, schools and other borrowed space. As the need only continues to grow dramatically, the requirement of a permanent facility is reinforced on an ongoing basis.

The need for L’Arche in our local community is great. In 2012, a comprehensive independent needs assessment clearly indicated the urgent need for the expansion of programs in our community, specifically in the area of meaningful Day Activity. There are many local people with intellectual disabilities waiting for and seeking meaningful day time activities, and this number is only expected to grow.

The vision for L'Arche London has been to respond to this challenge and embark on a 2.5 million dollar capital campaign to build a facility called the L'Arche Gathering Place. This facility will be a day facility providing a multitude of programs and services being receptive to the needs of the local community. To date, through a generous bequest, land has been purchased at Col. Talbot and Sunray. Additional progress to date has included retaining of an architect, building design and appraisals, landscape plan and the quiet phase of our capital campaign. The support of the local community has been very affirming with the million dollar milestone that was recently reached.

L'Arche London warmly invites you to attend our Annual Banquet on Friday, February 27th at the London Convention Centre. It will be a wonderful evening in community! For additional information please visit our website at or call Marietta Drost, Community Leader, 519 652 9778 ext. 228.