Be a friend. Be an advocate. Be as you are.

Becoming an Assistant

To be an Assistant is first and foremost about being a friend. It is about sharing a home, sharing meals, sharing spirituality, and sharing the joys and sorrows of daily life. Assistants live and serve alongside people with intellectual disabilities (Core Members) to build an intentional, mutually supportive community where every member is celebrated for their unique gifts, given an equal voice, and motivated toward a greater purpose. While committed to this mission, Assistants are also trained to offer direct support for the various needs of Core Members. This creates a distinct, formative experience in each person’s story that extends L’Arche’s message of both advocacy and hope into the larger community.

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Serving Others

What Does an Assistant Do?

While the primary goal of Assistants is to develop mutual relationships with Core Members, build community, and spread hope, there are a number of responsibilities that accompany the role. Assistants are trained as qualified caregivers to provide direct support for Core Members in activities of daily living, financial management, medical care, licensing documentation, and transportation. Assistants also help to maintain the homes by preparing meals, tending the gardens, cleaning common spaces, and doing other household tasks.

There is much to do in the daily life of an Assistant, but with an entire community’s support, much able to be accomplished. (Note: Responsibilities may vary depending on house or Core Member needs.)

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Qualifications To Become An Assistant

A desire:

  • To share your life with people with intellectual and physical disabilities
  • To help build a faith community founded on the Beatitudes

A willingness:

  • To participate in daily prayer in the house and during weekly services
  • To be part of a team, assuming responsibilities both in the house and community

An ability:

  • To communicate, both verbally and non-verbally and in writing
  • To perform practical life skills such as cooking, household management and driving vehicles
  • To be creative, flexible and a good time manager

If you are not from the US and don’t have a work permit you can still apply to serve as a year-long Volunteer Assistant. Click here for additional details.

Do I need special training to become an assistant?

No. Some people who come to work in L’Arche have experience working with people with disabilities, but most do not. The first requirement is that applicants have a desire to share life together in a community setting. In addition, one must be able to perform the duties as outlined in the assistant role description. Assistants participate in training and orientation required to meet state licensure, such as first aid and CPR, food handling, core competency and others. L’Arche Jacksonville also provides educational experiences and formation on other topics, including spiritual and personal growth.

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Put Your Skills into Service

Ways to Live L'Arche Life

Many Assistants admit to not having fully understood community, spirituality, acceptance, or even themselves before sharing life with L’Arche. It is an experience unlike any other, and one that offers a profound grasp of what it means to be human—to build meaningful relationships, to inspire equality, and to welcome others just as they are. Is this the place for you? Join us as we celebrate the big and small moments of daily life together, and attempt to be a sign of hope in the world. We will be so excited to welcome you home.

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