Become an Assistant

Work and learn together

At L’Arche, people with and without intellectual disabilities live, work, and learn together, creating communities of friendship and belonging. We foster mutual relationships, celebrate the unique value of every person, and strive for a world where everyone can belong and contribute their gifts.

The L’Arche Winnipeg community is comprised of six homes, where Core Members (individuals with intellectual disabilities) and Assistants share life together in a family environment. Each house has four to five Core Members and three to five Assistants.

“L'Arche Winnipeg has a real gift of creating community, bringing together people who otherwise might not relate or dare to open up to each other.”

Evelyn, Long-term Assistant

The entire community often gets together to:

  • Pray
  • Celebrate special events
  • Discuss important topics
  • Share information
  • Hold training and formations
  • Share music
  • Play games
  • And have fun

Daily life in the homes is filled with various activities and includes much joy, as well as some challenges. In our individual journeys, we look to support one another in our growth. Through mutual support, communication, and a humble heart, you will discover meaningful belonging in L’Arche.

Please note that the application process is done through our national website, L’Arche Canada.
If you wish to join us L’Arche Winnipeg community, please indicate that in your application form.

If you are considering becoming an Assistant, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to apply. It will help you understand how the process works and what to expect.

Beginning the application process can seem overwhelming, so:

  1. Begin the application process by applying through the L’Arche Canada portal
  2. A L’Arche Canada Recruitment Coordinator will contact you.
  3. You will receive an email from our Assistants Coordinator to schedule an online interview. You will receive a role guide explaining the responsibilities of the role.
  4. Following the interview, you will be asked to provide our Assistants Coordinator with three references (name and contact information). After receiving the three references, our Assistants Coordinator will determine if the applicant is a good fit. If so, they will offer you a role as a house Assistant.
  5. If you choose to accept the offer, our Assistants Coordinator will begin the work permit application process. That includes an Offer of Employment Number and an Application Guide.
  6. If international, you will apply for a work permit through the Canadian Immigration Portal. Depending on your country of origin, you may also need to apply for a Visa or Electronic Travel Authorization.
  7. All potential applicants must apply for a Vulnerable Sector Check (Police Check) and send it to the Assistants Coordinator.
  8. If you have a driver’s license, it’s helpful to work on getting it translated into English.
  9. Wait to receive your work permit! It usually takes between 3 to 6 months to obtain a work permit.
  10. When you receive news that your work permit has been accepted, go ahead and contact the Assistants Coordinator and discuss travel plans.
  11. And you’re off! Time to finalize travel plans. When you arrive at Winnipeg airport, we will arrange to pick you up.
  12. Welcome to your new home!

There are a few documents and items you should remember to bring with you before you travel! They are as follows:

  1. Passport
  2. Driver’s license if you have one (should be translated into English before arrival)
  3. Work permit documents
  4. A hard copy of the Police Check
  5. Credit or Debit Card, or Canadian Funds in case of emergency or for food and supplies during travel
  6. Clothing and Personal Care items (warm clothing is recommended as Canadian winters can be chilly!)
  7. Any other personal items you would like to bring with you

On the date and time of your arrival at the Winnipeg airport, the Assistants Coordinator will organize travel to our community and take you to your house, where the Core Members and other Assistants will welcome you.

You will participate in the ongoing Orientation program during your first year as an Assistant along with other Assistants under one year. Orientation sessions are led by the Assistants Coordinator, and the program usually involves a two-hour meeting once a month. 

The orientation period is dedicated to helping Assistants develop and strengthen relationships within the community, focusing on understanding L’Arche Winnipeg’s Mission and Identity and how these are lived. Orientation also helps develop your understanding of our community’s history, present-day life, and how we can apply our individual gifts.

The Assistants Coordinator oversees the program. Sometimes other community members are invited to lead various sessions. 

Orientation meetings include a time of prayer and sharing. They can consist of some or all of the following subjects, depending on the needs of the group: 

  • Community living
  • Servant Leadership Model
  • L’Arche Mission and Identity
  • Spirituality
  • Driving Safety
  • Team building and other L’Arche-related topics.

These topics are built from the seven components of the Department of Community Services’ minimum training standards. The topics are:

  • Standard First Aid and CPR
  • Basic Principles and Practices of Personal Care
  • Fire Safety
  • Medication Awareness
  • Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Training
  • Positive Principles and Practices of Non-Aversive Behaviour Change
  • Growth and Goals

Get in touch with our Assistants Coordinator

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