The message of L’Arche is essentially that through entering into relationship with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities our world can see an example of how to be transformed, one person at a time, into a more peaceful and compassionate society.

Our Mission >

Whether you are interested in joining our community as an assistant, building relationships with us as a volunteer, or sharing your gifts as a member of our board, there are numerous ways you can become a part of L’Arche Heartland accomplishing our mission. We are excited to welcome you!

Get Involved >

In order to continue being a witness to the transformative power of relationships with persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, we rely on financial support from generous donors. Thank you for sharing your resources with us as we journey towards a more compassionate society.

Donate >

I joined L'Arche as a live-in assistant almost a month ago. My second weekend here, I was on overnight duty for one of our core members who tends to wake up a lot during the night. When I meet him in the hallway at 2:30am, he's confused. You can see him thinking, I'm awake now. Why isn't everybody else awake?  Don't we have things to be doing? But he's nonverbal, so he doesn't say any of this; he only utters noises you’d only understand if you take the time to know him. If I'm not there to help him use the bathroom and go back to bed, he will wander into the kitchen and start rearranging things, rearranging things in a way that only makes sense to himself. We don't want that. I help him use the bathroom, and then both of us go back to sleep. We keep a monitor on this core member while he sleeps so that when he gets up during the night, I'll wake up too and help him get back to bed. And much to my dismay, that monitor woke me up last Saturday at 2:30am, 3:30am, 4:30am, and 5:30am.

Here's the crazy thing: for the rest of the day, the most salient feeling that I felt toward this core member was an overwhelming fondness. Which is really quite strange. Sleep is almost sacred to me. I prioritize getting a good, uninterrupted 7-8 hours of sleep each night. When I don't get my sleep, I can get very grumpy very quickly. So I think that the fondness I felt toward him is really quite telling. When I encountered him confused in the hallway at 2:30am, knowing that without some help he probably wouldn't go back to sleep anytime soon, the grumpiness I expected to have melted away. Instead, I smiled, took his hand, and said, “Come on, buddy, let's go back to sleep.”

-Cameron Coulter, Live-in Assistant

Find Out How You Can Help >

Recycling icon

L’Arche Heartland has partnered with the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment to expand our network of local business for our door-to-door recycling service. By welcoming a small group of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities into their workplaces on a weekly basis to collect their recycling, these business partners are helping us move towards realizing the vision of a paid employment option for the persons in our day service.


Learn More About Business Recycling >

Amazon Smile banner

When I first moved to L’Arche Heartland, I had a pretty good idea that it wouldn’t be “just a job.” I knew that by virtue of living in the same house with the people I would be caring for that there would be little separation between what I considered my “work life” and “home life.” And that was true. Even when I was on my time away, with no work responsibilities, I still would see my housemates every day, and they’d have questions to ask or stories to tell. There would still be activities I’d participate in or meals to share. Just because I was “off” from work didn’t mean I was off from the relationships.

I think that I was pretty prepared for that. I had an idea that’s how life would be when I moved in. But what I wasn’t prepared for was just how important those relationships would become. I can’t really pinpoint an exact moment, but there was definitely a shift when I stopped doing it because I felt like I needed to, or didn’t have anything else to do, and started spending time with core members during my time away because I valued their friendship, and I wanted to spend time with them. Sunday lunches and trips to the library became a regular activity with a couple of the guys, even when I wasn’t working, and even after I moved to a different house, because I enjoyed being with them. Even now, as a Community Coordinator, when I have a more typical 9-5 work schedule, I will often participate in our Saturday activities, or spend time with core members outside of that schedule, because I value our time together and they have become important to me. They aren’t just people that I care for, or whose house I now coordinate, but they are my friends. It wasn’t something I was expecting when I first came to L’Arche Heartland, but it’s definitely something I love about my life in L’Arche.

-Mark Lepper, Community Coordinator