Become an Assistant

An assistant at L’Arche Heartland is a person without an intellectual/developmental disability who uses his/her gifts to support the core members (adults in community with an intellectual/developmental disability).  There are three different types of assistants at L’Arche Heartland: Live-in Assistants, Live-out Assistants, and Day Service Assistants.  All three types of assistants are employees of the community and must pass state mandated background checks, have a high school diploma, be 21 years of age with a clean driving record, and have an open heart desiring to engage in community life.  Hours and compensation for the different types of assistant vary, but all full time assistants (30 hours or more per week) include Medical / Dental / Vision insurance paid 100% by the community, and two weeks paid vacation in the first year. 

The role of an assistant is both rewarding and challenging.  Coming from various walks of life, all assistants are expected to be reflective of their experience in community and be committed to personal growth. 

Role Description – Live-in Assistant

Role Description – Live-out Assistant

Role Description – Day Service Assistant

If you are interested in more information regarding employment as an assistant at L’Arche Heartland please email:

We are always recruiting prospective assistants to grow our team!  Fill out an application for employment by clicking HERE.

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The primary mission of L’Arche Heartland is to recognize and share the gifts of persons with intellectual/developmental disabilities with our world.  This mission is rooted in the belief that all human beings, regardless of their abilities have intrinsic value and gifts to share.  When considering volunteering with L’Arche Heartland we simply ask that you share your gifts with us!  Volunteer opportunities are flexible and designed for you as the volunteer to engage with core members (adults in community with an intellectual/developmental disability). We welcome a regular commitment based on your availability to come and spend time with us, sharing your gifts as you form relationships with the core members.

If you are interested in forming relationships with our core members as a regular individual volunteer please email:

Stories of individual volunteers sharing their gifts with the core members:

Nathalie is from France.  She comes to the L’Arche Academy two days a week and spends time with the core members there.  We soon discovered that one of our core members, Sarah, wanted to learn French, now the two of them sit down regularly and learn new vocabulary words and phrases.  Sarah loves her French session when Nathalie comes to visit!

Matt went to high school with one of our core members, Lance.  After years of not seeing one another they ran into each other working out at Matt Ross Community Center.  Matt now comes to dinner at Lance’s house regularly and the two of them go to concerts and movies together.

Del is a registered nurse.  She volunteers using her gifts on a regular basis by training new assistants on Medication Administration.  When she comes to review records she loves to do it at a home so she can interact with the core members that she has gotten to know over the years.    

Debbie was an American Sign Language school teacher.  One of our core members communicates using ASL, so Debbie started a small group meeting for interested core members to come and learn new ASL skills to help us all communicate.

Peggy loved to cook.  Once a month for nearly a year Peggy would come over in the afternoon and cook a meal for the entire community to share at Prayer night, the assistants loved the break from the kitchen and the core members always loved her meals!

Tom had a teenage son who needed service hours for school.  They had a family tradition of making homemade pizzas.  Thinking of ways to share this love with L’Arche Heartland was easy!  Every Monday night for an entire semester Tom and his son made homemade pizzas and brought them over to a L’Arche Heartland home for Monday night football with the core members!

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International Volunteer

L’Arche Heartland has a long history of welcoming full time international volunteers to share life in our homes and support our core members (adults in community with an intellectual/developmental disability).  International Volunteers will be present to life in the home five days per week, assisting with cooking, cleaning, building relationships with core members, and supporting core members to live their preferred lifestyles while supporting their individual goals.  This can be a wonderful opportunity to experience United States culture and learn about yourself all while engaging in a meaningful service.    

If invited to join the community, all international volunteers must obtain a B-1 volunteer VISA at their own expense.  L’Arche Heartland will assist you with this process by providing you with welcome letter to take to the United States Consulate in your home country.

After being invited and obtaining a VISA, International Volunteers are responsible for purchasing round trip airfare from their home country to Kansas City International Airport (MCI).  International Volunteers are provided with a room in one of our homes, meals, medical insurance, and are reimbursed up to $400 USD per month for essential living expenses. 

If a prospective International Volunteer has no L’Arche experience than we require his/her service to be in collaboration with a service organization from the home country, and we require a one year commitment.  We will consider International Volunteers directly, and for a shorter duration, if he/she has L’Arche experience from a different community within the Federation.  Either scenario requires fluency in English.  International Volunteers are not allowed to drive community vehicles, but are placed in a home and given a schedule concurrent with assistants who assume all the driving responsibilities.

If you are interested in more information in joining L’Arche Heartland as an International Volunteer please email  

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Do you have a required internship for your undergraduate or graduate degree?  L’Arche Heartland has partnered with multiple universities and students in the past to fulfill their internship requirements through spending time with the community.  We have members of our community who have the capacity to be field supervisors in the following disciplines:  Masters of Divinity, Master of Social Welfare, Non-profit management, and Psychology. 

In the past we have partnered as a field education site for Princeton Theological Seminary and Avila University.  We are always willing to consider partnering with new Universities and welcoming new interns into our community life!  Depending on the requirements of your internship, consider forming relationships with core members (adults in community with an intellectual/developmental disability) at L’Arche Heartland while you fulfill your programs requirements.  We can custom design a schedule to fit your availability as well as meet the goals of your internship.

To inquire about completing your internship at L’Arche Heartland email:

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Join our Board

Would you like to find a spiritual outlet for the use of your professional skills?  Consider joining the L'Arche Heartland Board of Directors!

As a director you would be asked to attend bi-monthly board meetings for the oversight and governance of our community as well as the use of your professional expertise to lend guidance to the leadership team.

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Immersion Groups

We regularly welcome groups from churches and universities on service trips.  We can host up to 8 people at a time as you live with us to experience firsthand the amazing gifts of core members (adults in community with an intellectual/developmental disability).  Help cook dinner in the homes, go on walks with core members, engage in simple prayers and see humanity in a new way. 

Our leadership team can work with your planning team to design the experience to best meet your groups abilities and interests.  We have welcome groups regularly from Creighton University over spring and fall break, and have welcomed youth groups from as far away as Texas. 

If your ministry or service group is local to the Kansas City area we can also welcome your group for a single day service trip.  We are always looking for help on upkeep of our lawns, gardens, and homes.  We can also share an activity with your group and our core members (adults with an intellectual/developmental disabilities) to foster interaction and the sharing of all of our gifts. 

If you are interested in your ministry or service group encountering L’Arche Heartland please email

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Caring for our environment as we build relationships across abilities 

We are currently creating partnerships with other businesses in Johnson County for core members (adults with an intellectual/developmental disabilities) to collect the businesses aluminum, plastic, and paper recycling.  We have a day service location where these recycled materials are then taken, sorted, and prepared for the recycling center.

Along with the impact of encouraging our local area to recycle more, this project seeks to build relationships between individuals in local workplaces and core members who are sharing their gifts to positively impact our environment.

Door to Door Recycling Service Now Available in Johnson County

Johnson County and L’Arche Green Express are partnering to make recycling more convenient and affordable for area businesses. L’Arche Green Express’ Door to Door Recycling is similar to curbside collection, except better! There are many benefits to you and our community, for participating in this one-stop-shop service.

How it works:

  1. You can recycle all the same things as at the curb (no need to separate) – cardboard, paper, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, paperboard boxes, junk mail, etc.
  2. Glass bottles and jars can also be part of the service, although it will need to be in a separate container, then taken to Ripple Glass for you.
  3. Electronic waste – we all have some outdated electronics, think of it as “anything with a cord.” Some fees may apply, but rest assured it’s being responsibly handled

To get started:

  1. Call or email Sadie Gardner with Johnson County Health & Environment Department 913.715.6923. Sadie will assess your needs and provide the right sized containers needed to get started (Yes! For FREE). She will also give you signage, and train your employees.
  2. L’Arche Green Express will contact you to schedule your pick up – typical service is weekly, or every other week.
  3. You pay a nominal amount to L’Arche Green Express (as low as $20/month) in exchange for their services.  All proceeds from their recycling program are invested into sustaining and developing this daytime activity for adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities in Johnson County.

Join us:

About L’Arche Green Express – A project of L’Arche Heartland, a non-profit organization creating community and opportunities for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in Overland Park, KS, since 1987.  L’Arche Green Express provides meaningful day time activity for over 20 adults with I/DD.  This initiative gives persons with I/DD a greater presence in our city, as well as a purposeful activity that hopefully can grow into paid employment for the adults with I/DD who share their giftedness.


About Johnson County Health & Environment Department – The solid waste department is working to increase recycling and reduce waste in the commercial sector. Recycling creates jobs, gives products a second life, reduces the risk for air and water pollution, all while saving landfill space. Thank you for helping create a more sustainable Johnson County and supporting a local non-profit.

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Do you value the giftedness of persons with developmental disabilities?

Do you support the growth of assistants who choose to share their lives with core members?

Do you believe that L'Arche is a sign of hope and transformation in our society?

If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions then we invite you to partner in L'Arche Heartland's mission by investing in our community!

Your donation will make a profound impact on the lives of core members and assistants in our community.

To make a one-time contribution or become a recurring monthly donor, please visit our Donate page.

L'Arche Heartland is a 501-(c)(3) organization, all donations are tax deductible. Thank you for helping to proclaim our mission!

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My internship with L'Arche Heartland was one of the most influential experiences of my life. When I began my internship I had never worked with people with disabilities before, so I was understandably nervous. But more importantly I was looking for some true-to-life experiences and real relationships. And that's exactly what I found.

As an intern I was able to experience life in different houses regularly and there was so much to learn. Not only did I learn about how to provide direct care to core members, but I learned valuable interpersonal skills and how to live intentional relationships. Core members are some of the most fun people to get to know because they are so unapologetically themselves. They are not shy about the things they like or dislike. They own their individuality and are unafraid to be exactly who they are, flaws and all. And I have come to learn that intentional relationships mean if you are willing to accept them for exactly who they are, then they will accept you and your flaws too. And that's what I found so beautiful about L'Arche Heartland. I had never before been around so many people, core members and assistants alike, who loved each other for their unique gifts and flaws. I also learned quickly to roll with the punches that come with living such authentic relationships. There were days that I would arrive and be greeted with hugs, and there were days that I was met with the stony silence of tension brewing. But no matter how the day began I knew we could work through it together and be smiling and laughing by the end of the night. It's not an easy task to live so intentionally but it is the most rewarding. Everyday I was challenged to be vulnerable and allow these new people to know me. And it was difficult to let down my guards and let the core members know me in a very real way. But I found that the days I was comfortable enough to open myself were the days I grew the most. These were the days I forged true friendships and tested the limits of my capabilities. And the more I did, the more often I felt I could do it again and again. So by the end of my internship I had the most amazing friends for life. In L'Arche Heartland I had found people who were dedicated to each other and to the life they are living together. 

-Rebecca Molner, Psychology Intern, 2015