Executive Director, L’Arche Harbor House
We are people, with and without intellectual disabilities, sharing life in communities belonging to an International Federation. Mutual relationships and trust in God are at the heart of our journey together. We celebrate the unique value of every person and recognize our need of one another.
The mission of L’Arche is
• To make known the gifts of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities revealed through mutually transforming relationships.
• To foster an environment in a community that responds to the changing needs of our members, while being faithful to the core values of our founding story.
• To engage in our diverse cultures, working together toward a more human society.
The greater Jacksonville area. We have 20 adults with intellectual disabilities sharing life with live-in assistants. The L’Arche Harbor House community consists of five family-style homes, the Blanchart Community Center and an off-campus day program called the Rainbow Workshop. The Rainbow day program provides opportunities for personal growth, creativity and community involvement for a number of our core members. Each core member has a job or attends an outside program during the day. Core members work at Pizza Hut, Publix, Pine Castle, ARC workshop, Angelwood or the All Saints elder day program.
Assistants work to build a relationship of mutual care and support with individuals with disabilities; foster a home life of unity, mutual respect and participation by all members; provide direct care supports and skill-building for core members: personal care needs, money management, medical care, appointments, family and work connections, household chores, laundry, medications, meal preparation and transportation.
There are many challenges to leading a community for people with and without intellectual disabilities. It is challenging to find enough funding to operate excellent programs. It also is challenging to help others break through the prejudices they hold about people with disabilities. Helping them to see the beauty, gifts and humanity of individuals with disabilities is a challenge but an incredible accomplishment, too.
Knowing that the lives of the individuals we serve and the lives of those who come in contact with our organization, L’Arche Harbor House, are better because of their experience here. Their lives are transformed by the relationships that are created here in community.
First experience with community service
In high school, we often volunteered at a local soup kitchen and a child care center for children from low-income families.
Your job before L’Arche Harbor House
I was the coordinator of a small nonprofit organization in California and attended graduate school.
Sept. 4-Nov. 15: Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New York Jets ticket raffle.
Oct. 10: Wine Down at JJ’s Bistro, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Nov. 9: Cocktails for a Cause at the University Club, 4:30-7 p.m.
March 11: 23rd Annual Golf Classic at TPC Sawgrass Dye’s Valley Course.