- Make a difference for people with intellectual disabilities.
- Imagine the world differently. L’Arche will broaden your perspective and values.
- Learn skills and leadership training such as teaching skills, becoming an advocate, team work and collaboration.
- Get paid to do what you love. Form life-long friendships with people who are different from you. Feel appreciated for what you bring and how you contribute.
- Live and work around Canada and the world. You will receive salary and extended health care benefits in line with similar positions in the nonprofit sector. You can apply to any of our 150 communities around the world.
A year… or a career
Assistants support Core Members in their everyday lives through:
- Friendship and Sharing Life - prepare and eat meals together, live together in a L’Arche home, spend time going on outings, hang out together, plan celebrations, share spirituality.
- Providing direct care and personal support - help someone to get dressed, give medication, assist with mobility and appointments.
- Supporting in daily activities - drive someone to work, shop for groceries, run errands, keep the house clean.
- Sharing talents and gifts - participate in and help to organize community activities and events.
What to expect
Becoming a L’Arche Assistant is an extraordinary and life-changing experience. The rhythm of each L’Arche house is set by the needs of the Core Members (persons with intellectual disabilities) who have made it their home. As a live-in Assistant you will typically live with 5–7 other people. Everyone has their own bedroom space.
Living and building community isn’t a 9 to 5 job. Our model integrates living and working and therefore, responsibilities extend beyond typical workplace hours:
Mornings: Mornings are a busy time as everyone has showers, eats breakfast, and heads off to programs. Assistants help Core Members with personal care. Once the Core members have left, assistants attend to various chores (meetings, housework).
Afternoons: Once the needs of the house are met, assistants will get 2–3 hours off for personal time. Assistants are encouraged to use this time to re-energize, rest, exercise and do personal errands. Core members are welcomed when they return home. They may need help to do banking, shopping or appointments. Or they may want to relax and watch TV. Core members are encouraged to help prepare dinner and set the table.
Evenings: Everyone shares dinner together. It is an important time to share news, chat, celebrate and simply be with one another. After the meal, a reading is chosen, followed by reflection and music. Everyone helps with clean up and preparing lunches for the next day. Then there is time for an outing, a visit, a swim or quiet time.
Community nights: Once a week, the entire community gathers. It is a time for socializing and being together with our many outside friends and volunteers.
Weekends: The schedule is more relaxed. There are still chores around the house, but at a slower pace.
Every week, you will receive 1.5 days off, plus one weekend off per month. During days and weekends off, assistants may leave their home and community to do what they wish.
All L’Arche communities have a spiritual dimension. In Canada, our communities are rooted in the Christian faith. We welcome people of all faiths and those with no particular faith tradition. We expect assistants to be open to and supportive of other’s spirituality and to join in our celebrations, including Christmas, Easter, grace at mealtimes, prayer and times of silent reflection.
- We are regulated and inspected by the government and must legally meet set standards of competence and care. Therefore, all Assistants are supported to participate in required training.
Who we hire
Most Assistants are Canadian, in their late twenties, and have university or college education.
- Desire to live in a L’Arche home, provide direct care and carry out household duties. If you are not able to live in one of our homes, please consider volunteering.
- Minimum commitment of one year.
- Must be fluent in English.
- Must be at least 18 years of age.
There is no particular background or experience required to succeed in the role of Assistant. We find that a desire to support others, to be part of a team, to experience community life and to develop friendships makes for a great Assistant experience.
- Patient, with the desire to help others learn and grow. Able to appreciate other people in all of their diversity.
- Team player who is willing to work cooperatively. Open to learning and receiving feedback with a desire for personal growth.
- Responsible and takes initiative to live the role to a high standard.
- Motivated to make a positive difference for our world.
- Open to the spirituality of L’Arche and to supporting other’s faith journey.
- Wants to participate in the fun of community life, share joy, and laugh together. Open to friendships with people with intellectual disability.
In your first months at L’Arche you will receive the orientation and training that you need to succeed. However, there are certain experiences, skills, and qualifications which help with the functioning of the community or which help to enrich the life of the community. Please note, most assistants do not have previous experience working with people with intellectual disabilities.
- Musical or artistic talent
- Driver’s License
- Cooking or gardening skills
- Spiritual or faith based background, training
- Experience living in a community (camp, shared home)
- Creativity in planning celebrations
We invite you to join us! Contact Karen Dennison at 905‒312‒0162 ext. 222.