What is L’Arche Connects Outreach?
L’Arche Connects, a supported independent living pilot program of L’Arche Saint John, is launching an outreach program to help adults with an intellectual disability and their families or caregivers explore their future options for housing and support, identify key areas for growth, and make connections with others in the community.
Who is this program open to?
This program is open to adults with an intellectual disability who are current Disability Support Program (DSP) clients and who have a desire to grow their independent living skills. This program is specifically targeted to participants whose parents and caregivers are decreasing in their ability to provide ongoing support.
What can we expect?
Our goal is to equip each participant with a toolbox for independent living skills for their future. To build this toolbox, program participants and their families or caregivers will be invited to various workshops, information sessions, and social events hosted on a weekly basis.
These events are designed to assist them to plan for their future, identify skills they would like to work on, and build connections and friendships with other people both within the L’Arche community and in greater Saint John.
What skills will be focused on?
FUTURE PLANNING: Some events will focus on future planning with participants and their families or caregivers. We will have experts on government programs and types of support (such as the different types of housing), financial programs (like the registered disability savings plan or RDSP), future-planning tools, and the possibility of independent facilitation. These events will also provide time for families to meet one another and share in one another’s wisdom.
SOCIAL CONNECTION: Some events will be focused on social gatherings – building relationships with other people in the community. Living well is about so much more than having a roof over our head! We not only need practical skills, we also need inclusion, stability, and lifelong connections.
INDEPENDENT LIVING: Some events will focus on key skills for independent living, such as using public transit, fire safety, being streetsafe, internet safety, budgeting, food safety, meal planning on a budget and abuse prevention. We will call on the help of experts and services in our community to both teach and to promote their own programs in the community.
Will L’Arche provide housing or support for participants?
Participation in the outreach program is neither an offer nor promise of future support from L’Arche. We have a limited capacity to support people in their living arrangements. The goal of this program is to build participants’ own capacity for independent living, introduce them to the services and resources available to them, and develop relationships with other members of the community.
That being said, participation in this program will help us build relationships with potential members and may aid us in providing future support as our capacity to support additional people in supported independent living increases. At this time, there is no set timeline or commitment to when or at what capacity that growth may take place.
When does the program begin?
The first phase of our outreach program will run from January until June 2024. After June we will evaluate, make adjustments and aim to relaunch in September 2024.
How do I sign up?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest. Interested participants will be required to take part in a simple intake interview to determine their eligibility. The program has a capacity of 20 participants plus their family members or caregivers. A waiting list will be implemented in the case that there is greater interest.