September 28, 2023.
SAINT JOHN, N.B. - L’Arche Saint John has launched a new Spirit of L’Arche Award to recognize commitments to creating a vibrant and inclusive community where adults with intellectual disabilities are celebrated for their gifts.
Saint John Non Profit Housing and Greer Stackhouse, a long-time volunteer and assistant at L’Arche Saint John, were presented with the inaugural Spirit of L’Arche Awards at the organization’s Building Community dinner gala held at the Delta Hotel on Sept. 27.
The award, to be bestowed annually, celebrates individuals or organizations that have a transformative impact on L’Arche Saint John and the Greater Saint John community through their commitment to creating a world where everyone belongs.
“Creating a community is a collaborative effort, and it is thanks to people like Narinder and Greer that we are able to create a more inclusive community,” says Rachel Vander Vennen, executive director of L’Arche Saint John.
“Saint John Non Profit Housing and Stackhouse are outstanding leaders in Saint John, creating vibrant communities where adults with intellectual disabilities are able to take their rightful place,” she says.
Narinder Singh, general manager of Saint John Non Profit Housing, was saluted along with the organization’s board and staff. He joined Stackhouse in accepting the awards in front of more than 400 people at the annual gala dinner.
“We are honoured to be recognized by L’Arche,” Singh says. “I encourage landlords and developers to forge new partnerships with L’Arche. Together, we can ensure our developments are more inclusive. I guarantee you won’t regret it.”
Singh and Saint John Non Profit Housing played a crucial role in the creation of L’Arche Connects, a new supported independent living program developed in partnership with Saint John Non Profit Housing, Inclusion NB and the Department of Social Development.
Through the program, adults with intellectual disabilities live independently at Saint John Non Profit Housing’s The Wellington building in uptown Saint John with the help of services and support from L’Arche.
Saint John Non Profit Housing’s commitment to shaping a more inclusive community at The Wellington was instrumental to the launch and success of the program, Vander Vennen says. Singh describes the partnership as a “match made in heaven.”
Stackhouse received the Spirit of L’Arche Award for her years of friendship and deep commitment to the L’Arche community.
“I’m honoured to receive this award from a community of people so close to my heart, a community so deeply committed to creating an environment of respect and caring for each other at home, in the workplace and in the wider community,” says Stackhouse. “Being part of the L’Arche community has had a profound impact on my understanding and lived experience of what it means to be human.”
L’Arche Saint John’s mission is to make known the gifts of adults with intellectual disabilities through mutually transformative relationships. To learn more and to help drive L’Arche Saint John’s mission, visit www.larchesaintjohn.org.
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L’Arche Saint John recognized Saint John Non Profit Housing and Greer Stackhouse as recipients of the inaugural Spirit of L’Arche Award at its sold-out Building Community gala Wednesday night, in recognition for their outstanding commitment to building an inclusive community. From left are Narinder Singh, General Manager of Saint John Non Profit Housing, Krista Simmons of L’Arche Saint John, Greer Stackhouse and Rachel Vander Vennen, Community Leader & Executive Director of L’Arche Saint John. PHOTO: L’Arche Saint John.
For L’Arche Saint John media inquiries, please contact:
Rachel Vander Vennen, L’Arche Saint John
ABOUT L’ARCHE SAINT JOHN
L’Arche Saint John is a community of people with and without intellectual disabilities in Saint John. Founded in 2005, the non-profit operates McKim House on the city’s west side, the Creative Connections art studio and program at 95 Prince William St., and L’Arche Connects, a supported independent living program. L’Arche Saint John is part of an international federation creating homes and day programs with adults with intellectual disabilities. For more information, visit www.larchesaintjohn.org.