For the past 15 years, L’Arche Chicago has positively impacted the lives of persons with disabilities and their families. Today, we have 10 core members and 9 full time assistants sharing life together in our three homes. The relationships developed in our homes are changing core members and assistants for the better, as well as the friends and families of our L’Arche Community.
A Place of Personal Growth
Elisha’s mom Linda recently shared the ways she’s seen her son grow and develop in L’Arche. “Since coming to L’Arche, I’ve noticed that Elisha is making more adult choices. He’s thinking for himself while also keeping in mind the needs of the community. His community is important to him. In a world where inclusion can be difficult, L’Arche has ensured in him a sense of belonging and a feeling that he is a part of something special.”
Elisha used to refer to Linda’s home as his home, but now he refers to his L’Arche home, Peace House, as his home. Peace House has become his community, instead of going “home” to his mom’s house, he now “visits” her house. Elisha’s story is one out of many that demonstrates the power of the L’Arche model of community.
The Cost of Care for Core Members
We are excited to that we have grown our impact by opening a third home and have welcomed two new core members as well as new assistants.
In the State of Illinois, there are currently 7,180 individuals on a waiting list to receive group home services such as those that L’Arche Chicago provides. Of these 7,180 people, 4,896 individuals are listed as being in immediate and urgent need of a placement. To meet the demand for services, the State of Illinois relies heavily on organizations such as L’Arche to provide care for the disabilities community. However, the financial support that is offered is limited and precarious.
The State provides 70% ($55,379) of the actual cost ($78,979) of staffing and room and board (mortgage, groceries, and household supplies) for our core members. This leaves L’Arche Chicago with a responsibility to fund raise the additional 30% ($23,600) per core member, per year to fill the funding gap.
You Can Be A Part of the Impact
You can help L’Arche make a difference in the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with a monthly gift to support our community of core members and assistants. With your partnership, we can have more stories like Elisha’s. Stories of hope, growth, belonging, and joy.