L’Arche Homefires operates five homes. Four are located in Wolfville and one is located in Greenwich. Some of our homes are licensed and others are small options homes. Each small option home provides home for three people with disabilities and three care givers. The licensed homes currently provide home for four people with disabilities and three or four caregivers. The homes are all funded and licensed by the Department of Community Services. The homes are located in residential neighborhoods. All homes are wheelchair accessible on the main level. Each home is fitted with a sprinkler system and emergency lighting. Each home is comfortably furnished and each person has their own bedroom. The living area is shared. Everyone participates in all aspects of creating home, cleaning, menu planning, cooking, grocery shopping, gardening, recreation planning etc. Because of the live in assistant model, there are many opportunities for one on one support for people. Our homes are busy places with people involved in many activities within the L’Arche community and also in the wider community. The assistants provide support in the area of personal care, medication delivery, emotional support etc. The emphasis in the homes though is on building relationships of support and trust. Because people live together bonds form between people and genuine caring results.
Assistants are from Canada and also from many different countries. All go through an application process, reference checks, and visa applications (for overseas assistants). Assistants come to L’Arche for many reasons; they have found our web site on the internet, they want to have a different experience after they finish University, they want to travel, they want to improve their English, they may have a family member with a disability. L’Arche is also a service option, as an alternative to military service in some countries. Generally assistants stay a minimum of a year. Some will stay longer. In addition to learning about L’Arche and about living in community, assistants receive training in: a) medication awareness, b) First Aid / CPR, c) Crisis Prevention, d) Individual Program Planning, e) Behavioral supports, f) Personal Care, g) Fire Safety. Generally August / September are when we have some new assistants arrive. All assistants are evaluated in their first three months and then annually. It is wonderful to see the long term friendships that develop between assistants and core members.
People who live in our homes need varying support in their life. Some people need more physical assistance, some need more emotional support. All house mates are encouraged to help each other to the best of their abilities. Homes organize community gatherings and there are always visits back and forth between homes. There are also frequently visitors and supper guests. It is important that our community and our homes are places of welcome.
Family involvement is welcomed and encouraged. Family members are invited for special events but also drop in and visit. People, who have family, always enjoy trips home!
All places in our homes are funded through the Department of Community Services. When spaces become available we work together with the DCS Care Coordinator to fill the space. If you are interested in learning more about our homes please contact Ingrid at firstname.lastname@example.org