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300-10271 Yonge St
Richmond Hill, ON
L4C 3B5

Imagine being taken away from your family and sent away to live in an institution when you’re just seven years old.

That’s what happened to Robert. Robert has an intellectual disability. When he was just a child, the doctors convinced his parents the best option for their son was to put him in an institution for the rest of his life.

In the institution, Robert became very isolated. He was never taught social skills or even basic hygiene skills, like shaving.

Robert tells of how men in the institution would be lined up and one orderly would apply shaving cream, while the next would go down the line shaving them. If discipline was required for disobedience it was applied by fire hose to their bare backs. I shudder when I think about it.

It’s no wonder Robert refers to the institution as a “very bad place”.

Then, after nearly 30 years of being institutionalized, Robert’s family found L’Arche. For the first time since he was a small child, Robert had a home filled with love and acceptance. He was given a chance for a happier, more fulfilling life.

You see, in L’Arche, people who have intellectual disabilities and those who come to assist them share life and daytime activities in family-like settings that are integrated into local neighbourhoods. L’Arche has nearly 200 homes and workshops or day programs in Canada.

With the guidance of L’Arche assistants, Robert learned how to shave himself. He even learned how to play the piano. And, just as importantly, he learned social skills which empowered him to come out of his shell. He now loves to make new friends.

Robert could finally put those years of isolation and anger behind him.

Government funding provides for the basics of life for people with intellectual disabilities – food, shelter. But that’s not nearly enough. The quality of life, additional skills training and companionship that makes L’Arche unique is not funded by the government.

We depend on the generosity of thoughtful people like you to transform lives.

The type of program that transformed Robert’s life and will transform many other lives costs $15,000 a year. That translates to $62 per day, $313 a week or $1,250 per month. Will you make a donation today to keep our vital Day Programs running for a day, a week, or a month?

Living in a loving L’Arche community has done wonders for Robert. The once-angry man now loves to go out in public and talk about L’Arche. At his presentations with our Outreach Team, he tells his audiences the importance of accepting those who seem different. He speaks of inclusion, love, and what it means to care for others.

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