The French word L’Arche rhymes with marsh and means “the ark,” a symbol of refuge and the first covenant between God and humanity.
Originally formed as Harbor House in 1985, the community joined the international federation of L’Arche communities in 1992. Founded in the Catholic tradition, we welcome people of all faiths. L’Arche Jacksonville is the only L’Arche community in Florida.
L’Arche believes in the dignity of every person. This is expressed in a life shared between people with an intellectual disability and those choosing to join them in community. We seek to help each other to grow and develop toward our potential.
A simple answer can be found in the Charter of L’Arche International: Home life is at the heart of a L’Arche community. The different members of a community are called to be one body. They live, work, pray and celebrate together, sharing their joys and their suffering and forgiving each other, as in a family. They have a simple lifestyle that gives priority to relationships.
Our four homes and the Blanchart Community Center are situated next door to Christ The King Church on Arlington Road in the Arlington area of Jacksonville, Florida. The Rainbow Workshop, our day program that nurtures creativity and personal growth, is located right across the street on Owl Ridge Lane.
Currently, 15 adults with intellectual disabilities are in residence. We make a commitment to treasure them as family and to value them always for the many gifts they bring to the community and the world.
Numbers fluctuate, but we strive for a one-to-one assistant-to-core member ratio. Most assistants live in the community. A few live outside the community. All assistants share daily life with core members.
We rely on community supporters to sustain us in our work. Volunteer opportunities include, but are not limited to, the following:
Individuals, churches and groups are welcome! Please contact us to find out more. A good way to start a relationship is by attending a Community Night, held most first Thursdays of the month at 6 p.m. in the Blanchart Community Center at L’Arche Jacksonville. Please contact us for details.