L’Arche (rhymes with marsh) began in 1964 when French Canadian Jean Vanier invited two men with intellectual disabilities, Raphael Simi and Philippe Seux, to live with him in a small house in Trosly-Breuil, France. He named their house L’Arche, French for "The Ark," hoping it would be a safe harbor where lives could be shared in mutual respect. Over time, visitors came and were inspired by Jean’s life and message that individuals with intellectual disabilities possess gifts that many 'normal’ people lack. Their experiences at L’Arche became a call in their lives to live as assistants and welcome men and women with disabilities into homes to live as family.
Today, L'Arche Cleveland has five loving homes where differently abled individuals share their lives together. Each L'Arche home is a place where members have support to discover, develop, and share their unique (and often hidden) gifts. Through simple acts of everyday living, we strive to provide a home for those in need.