Director of Community Life Career Opportunity

Are you looking to join a dynamic and meaningful community of persons with and without intellectual disabilities? L’Arche Chicago is looking for its next Director of Community Life?

Published 2 July 2018

Director of Community Life

Position Summary: You care about living community inclusively and want to support L’Arche Chicago’s overall health and growth. You want to celebrate and affirm people with and without intellectual disabilities, supporting them as they share life together in three residential homes and beyond. You are gifted at building relationships and value the gifts of people with intellectual disabilities. You have gifts of leadership and are ready to lead community events, team meetings, formations and trainings, as well as providing professional supervision to staff members. You want to support people’s relational, psychological and spiritual growth in community, meeting with them and being present to them, providing them with resources as needed. You are drawn to thin spaces where the sacred touches the ordinary. You are ready to work as part of a Leadership Team, sharing responsibility with the Community Leader/Executive Director (CL/ED) for the overall growth and direction of L’Arche Chicago. You believe in the mission of L’Arche and are willing to let that be a guide for your work, grounded in the lived interfaith and multi-cultural reality of L’Arche Chicago.

Key Responsibilities

  • Plan and implement monthly formations (reflection/activities to help assistants find meaning and insight in community life), orientation and on-going training of assistants regarding individual core members, community growth, team dynamics and related issues
  • Lead a weekly meeting with house coordinators/leadership team, a weekly meeting with the assistants, monthly community nights (events in which the vision of our community is shared with the public), monthly celebration/community anniversary nights and other L’Arche Chicago events. This leading should be grounded in the mission of L’Arche
  • Ensuring that each core member (resident with disability) has a voice in the decision-making and planning of his/her own life and in the life of the community, and that their faith traditions are respected
  • Working in cooperation with the Director of Professional Services to provide follow-up as needed in the homes (for example, in response to incidents) and working in cooperation with the community Pastoral Minister(s) for the support of the community’s spiritual life
  • Interviewing, hiring, welcoming and training new assistants to L’Arche as Direct Support Persons (support professionals). Interviewing and welcoming new volunteers
  • Supporting assistants’ and core members’ personal and spiritual growth
  • Coordinating core members’ and assistants’ accompaniers (persons outside the immediate community circle who accompany each live-in person in community in their community journey). This includes providing an orientation to new accompaniers and annual retreat
  • Connect with founding members of L’Arche Chicago, community friends and neighbors, affirming their importance as valued community members
  • Manage alumni relations
  • Visit and work in each home periodically, at least once per month to share dinner as meals are central in the life of L’Arche
  • Be aware of and committed to the mission and mandate of L’Arche Chicago
  • Announce the mission of L’Arche at outside events, conferences, and gatherings through communicating, networking, and meeting new groups and organizations
  • Essential: encourage a spirit that values the primacy of being over doing, abundance over scarcity, and calm over anxiety

Requirements for the Role

  • Embraces the mission and values of L’Arche; previous L’Arche or other community living experience strongly preferred
  • Demonstrated leadership qualities, with good management and organizational skills, including an ability to work collaboratively and develop the skills of others
  • Strong interpersonal, oral and written communication skills
  • Objectivity and the ability to listen to others’ verbal and nonverbal communication
  • Maturity and commitment to one’s own personal and spiritual growth
  • Good boundaries, self-awareness and stress management
  • Should be an Illinois Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional (QIDP), or able to obtain this certification
  • Experience with people with developmental disabilities strong preferred

The Director of Community Life is accountable to the CL/ED. This is a full-time role with generous benefits.

TO APPLY:  Applicants should submit a resume with three references and a cover letter expressing interest in the position to Preferred start date is September 1, 2018.