Frequently Asked Questions

What does "L'Arche" mean and how is it pronounced?


The French word L’Arche rhymes with “marsh” and means “the ark.” It honors the name, Noah’s Ark, given to the original L’Arche home in Trosly, France that was founded in the 1960’s.




Who are "core members"?


Core members are the adults with intellectual disabilities who have chosen to make L’Arche their home. The word “core” comes from the French word “cœur”, meaning “heart.” They are called core members because they are at the heart of everything we do.




Who are "assistants"?


Assistants are people who share life in community with core members. They are qualified direct support professionals and support core members in maintaining the home, preparing meals, managing finances, medical care, and any activities of daily living that the core member needs. An assistant’s goal is not to do things for a core member, but to do things with the core member. Some assistants live in the home alongside core members and some do not. Ultimately, all assistants are called to build relationships of mutuality with core members.




How is L'Arche governed?


We operate as an independent 501(c)3 organization. We are governed by our Board of directors and led by our Community Leader | Executive Director. We are seeking licensure to be a service provider with the Developmental Disabilities Administration in Maryland.

L’Arche Frederick is part of the L’Arche International Federation and a member of L’Arche USA. We are proud to work in partnership with our L’Arche family worldwide in building communities of belonging with adults with intellectual disabilities.




Is L'Arche a religious organization?


L’Arche communities around the world embrace a variety of faith traditions. The first L’Arche community in France was founded in the Catholic tradition but, with communities in 38 countries worldwide, each community reflects a belief system according to the local culture. Although each L’Arche community may have different traditions, all L’Arche communities are faith communities. We are rooted in prayer and based on the belief that each person has their own unique value, deserving to be celebrated for who they are.

Our community in Frederick welcomes people of all faiths or no faith. You will find that a lot of our community practices are rooted in the Christian tradition and we strive to support people on their individual journeys.




How is L'Arche funded?


As a community in formation, we are sustained by the generosity of individuals, churches, businesses, and foundations. Our work to build an inclusive community of faith-filled homes is impossible without this support.

Once we open our first home, we expect to receive 70% of our funding from Medicaid Waiver services administered through the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration. The remaining 30% will come from our community of donors & faithful friends.

When we open our first home, we will not receive funding from Medicaid Waiver during the first 6 months. This is standard among new service providers. Instead, L’Arche is responsible for securing funding through philanthropic efforts.




Is it possible for someone to share about L'Arche at my school, place of worship, work, or similar?


We are glad to arrange a presentation on our model of community living and our work to create spaces of belonging with people with intellectual disabilities. It's a joy to share stories of inclusive community building and life in L'Arche. Contact us and start the conversation!









Do you still have questions? 
Reach out to us at info@larchefrederick.org