L'Arche Atlanta

Imagine. Community. Differently.

aka L'Arche Atlanta   |   Decatur, GA   |  www.larcheatlanta.org

Mission

L’Arche Atlanta’s mission is to make known the gifts of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, revealed through mutually transforming relationships; to respond to the changing needs of our members; and to engage in diverse cultures, working together towards a more human society.L’Arche Atlanta’s mission is to make known the gifts of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, revealed through mutually transforming relationships; to respond to the changing needs of our members; and to engage in diverse cultures, working together towards a more human society.

Notes from the nonprofit

L’Arche Atlanta exists to change perceptions about adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, to create places of mutually-transformative friendships, and to help ensure everyone has a secure place of belonging. We are so grateful to the many supporters that helped launch our community and we look forward to growing our community of friends in the coming years.

Ruling year info

2005

Executive Director & Community Leader

Timothy Moore

Main address

P.O. Box 2359

Decatur, GA 30031 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

20-3091620

NTEE code info

Group Home (Long Term (P73)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

There is an urgent need to provide community-based residential homes for the estimated 153,500 Georgians with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Cognitive limitations mean that most cannot live independently and rely on support to navigate life. Despite the widespread need, there is a severe lack of resources and assistance. More than 6,000 Georgians with disabilities are on the Medicaid waiver program waiting list, which funds services like housing, transportation, and employment supports. Statistics show that people with disabilities are more likely to live in poverty, lack social relationships, and experience poor health outcomes. Many families face immense hurdles to get the help they need. Georgia’s application process for Medicaid waivers is confusing, and frequently takes years to receive approval. Institutions and group homes are an option for some, but this solution can compound isolation, forcing people with IDD to live sequestered from the wider community.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Residential Services

A nationally accredited program through the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL), L’Arche Atlanta’s current licensed residential house in Oakhurst is home to four Core Members – adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities - and three live-in House Assistants. Core Members have daily routines much like those of most adults: they work, volunteer, participate in their community, pursue leisure activities, and spend time with friends and family. The House Assistants support these activities and build authentic friendships with our Core Members so that the latter may lead happy, fulfilled lives that might otherwise be out of reach.

One of the distinct features of L'Arche Atlanta’s residential program is that we commit to providing a home for the life of the Core Member, or for as long as they choose to live in the home. Our model is also distinct for its authentic approach to inclusion. Our homes are embedded within the community and activities forge strong, lasting bonds between people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities alike. L’Arche Atlanta has gained a reputation for our unique approach and high-quality residential services. That reputation has been repeatedly affirmed by positive reports from various state agencies and, most recently, by a very successful initial accreditation review form CQL. L’Arche is undergoing a capital campaign, Home for Life, to launch a second home in Decatur, GA, which will double the size of our residential program by serving four more adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Population(s) Served
People with intellectual disabilities

We work to bring the qualities of celebration, spirituality, and connection found in our home into the broader community. Our Outreach & Education program provides social opportunities for people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Staff and Core Members speak at numerous civic and community groups about living with a disability and the need for greater inclusion and opportunity. We also host 10-12 social events throughout the year that bring people with disabilities and their families together with the wider community, gathering an average of 115 individuals at each event. Our annual Valentine’s Day Dance, for example, has become a popular event for people with and without disabilities to experience the joy of interacting with friends of all abilities.

Our outreach events are opportunities for adults with IDD to connect joyfully with the surrounding community. Whatever the venue, whether a Braves game or a more intimate Thanksgiving meal, these events help banish the isolation and loneliness experienced by so many people with IDD and create a space where old perceptions can transform into new relationships.

Population(s) Served
People with intellectual disabilities

The statewide need for the kind of help L’Arche’s homes provide is far greater than what we are able to deliver. In response, we advocate for people with disabilities to have the right to decide where they live, the resources to do so, and the support they need to thrive in the community of their choice. We speak to congregations, community groups, and advocacy organizations to build awareness and advocate for inclusion, equity, and opportunity.

L’Arche also advocates for inclusive, innovative, and accessible services for Georgians with IDD through our work with the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) on the Storytelling for Advocacy Project. With the goal of educating and influencing legislators and policy makers around issues that affect Georgians with disabilities, the Storytelling Project includes in-depth stories, a podcast series, and a mini-documentary to expose new audiences to the beauty and challenges of life with IDD in Georgia.

Population(s) Served
People with intellectual disabilities

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Core Members are healthy because of coordinated, personalized healthcare.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with intellectual disabilities

Related Program

Residential Services

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Core Members feel safe and accepted in the L’Arche home.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with intellectual disabilities

Related Program

Residential Services

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Core Members have a measurably higher quality of life than before they lived in a L’Arche home.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with intellectual disabilities

Related Program

Residential Services

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Core Members have the space and resources to self-determine choices about their lives

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with intellectual disabilities

Related Program

Residential Services

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Core Members state that they have a network of true friends who care about them.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with intellectual disabilities

Related Program

Residential Services

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

House Assistants leave their experience with L’Arche with a greater understanding of and compassion for people with disabilities.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with intellectual disabilities

Related Program

Residential Services

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

Defined by the number of people who depart L’Arche and measured by their responses during an exit interview. We would like this measure to decrease as we improve retention.

House Assistants become advocates for people with disabilities.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Caregivers

Related Program

Residential Services

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

House Assistants are motivated to enter long-term career fields where they help others, whether in a nonprofit setting or a medical or therapy setting.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Caregivers

Related Program

Residential Services

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

House Assistants are powerful advocates for people with disabilities in their fields, whether that’s medicine, speech or occupational therapy, or even law.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Caregivers

Related Program

Residential Services

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Neighbors can articulate the positive difference a L'Arche home makes in their community.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Outreach and Education Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Though community events, people with disabilities in the wider community build a network of friends and support

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with intellectual disabilities

Related Program

Outreach and Education Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of participants engaged in programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of adults with disabilities receiving sufficient social and emotional support

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with intellectual disabilities

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of adults with disabilities finding a place of belonging in community

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with intellectual disabilities

Related Program

Outreach and Education Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

L’Arche’s current strategic plan goals are as follows:

1. LEAD. Sustain & Expand Board Composition & Best Practices
Strengthen our board through increasing our diversity and continuing the
implementation of best practices
2. GROW. Sustain & Expand Housing Opportunities
Launch our second home to double our available housing opportunities.
3. FUND. Sustain & Expand Financial Resources
Strengthen our development efforts and financial reserves to increase our impact and
ensure longevity
4. SHARE. Sustain & Expand Outreach & Community Awareness
Expand the telling and sharing of the L’Arche Experience in ever-widening circles

In addition to these operational goals, L’Arche Atlanta is working towards a radical vision of inclusion. We envision a society where people with intellectual disabilities live fully-engaged lives in their communities and are recognized for their contributions. We are among what New York Times columnist David Brooks calls the “weavers.” Brooks hypothesizes that isolation is an underpinning of social discord. Isolation is a source of profound pain and can worsen trauma. Weavers across the country are working to solve this problem “by building community and weaving the social fabric” locally. Brooks describes the diversity of these weavers and the common thread that ties us together: “...the trait that leaps out above all others is ‘radical mutuality.’ We are all completely equal, regardless of where society ranks us.”

This is L’Arche’s key function. We build relationships, one by one, bringing people closer together. Our outreach events are opportunities for adults with intellectual disabilities to connect joyfully with the surrounding community. Whatever the venue, whether a Braves game or a more intimate Thanksgiving meal, these events help banish the isolation and loneliness experienced by so many people with disabilities and create a space where old perceptions can transform into new relationships.

Priority 1 – LEAD
• Develop Board recruitment strategy
• Develop Diversity Policy statement
• Develop Board Chair succession plan
• Develop Executive Director succession plan
• Revisit Board committee structure
• Develop New Board member orientation
• Devote time to L’Arche formation at Board meetings and events
• Engage past board members with current board
• Provide opportunities to engage connection with L’Arche USA & Federation
• Engage non-board members in committees

Priority 2 – GROW
• Purchase 915 Clairemont Avenue home
• Renovate 915 Clairemont Avenue home so it is ready for occupancy
• Raise the additional funds needed to open the home
• Define what volunteer help will be needed or where consulting is needed
• Implement our Funding Plan: Foundation, Individuals, Institutional, Partners,
Organizations
• Long-term: Conduct a feasibility study around a partnership with Columbia, Emory,
or Agnes Scott

Priority 3 – FUND
• Input: growth plan (number of housing opportunities); Output: scaled budget
• Determine Capital campaign feasibility
• Draft fund development plan
• Develop policy for use of Reserve fund
• Hire Development/Communications staff to support Executive Director
• Develop a young professionals network that will assist in fundraising/social media and
form future board members

Priority 4 – SHARE
• Define Community Events relationship to the board
• Assess cleanliness of database
o Enhance capture of contact info of event participants
• Develop communications brief and plan
o Improve our website
o Leverage Core member talents to tell story
o Monthly L’Arche messaging
• Core member volunteer & job experiences
o Define/outline universe of opportunities
• Highlight L’Arche in local & regional communications
• Additional regional / state advocacy events
• Host PORCHFEST event
• Host events for groups who advocate for persons with ID/DD, Small group events
• Host Fund & Friend raising events
• Increase Board engagement at community events

L’Arche Atlanta has significant organizational capacity to achieve these goals thanks to several key factors:
- Leadership: L’Arche has a strong board of 15 fully engaged members. They hire, assess performance, and manage the Executive Director & Community Leader, Tim Moore. Tim has successfully grown L’Arche’s budget and enhanced our presence in the community. He fosters leadership qualities among the staff, encouraging them in their growth. We also benefit from the leadership of an Advisory Board and our young professional-led L'Arche Atlanta Community Council.
- Policies and Procedures: L’Arche has robust policies and procedures that adhere to L’Arche USA standards, DBHDD licensing requirements, and CQL accreditation standards. These documents ensure accountability for adherence to best practices and a matrix of complex requirements.
- Community Support: We enjoy hearty support from our community, which extends outward from our Oakhurst home into the neighborhood, wider Decatur community, and throughout Atlanta. This strong sense of community has enabled us to foster greater inclusion and welcoming for people with IDD. The community demonstrates support by attending our events, making generous financial and in-kind donations, and providing volunteer help.
- Values: L’Arche homes around the world are tied together by a commitment to celebrate the unique place a person with a disability holds within the community. The L’Arche philosophy of caregiving begins with the premise that people living with disabilities are a gift to society and that expressions of care must honor the dignity, personhood, and gifts of each person with a disability. L’Arche’s values and culture are reflected in practices that continually reinforce the inherent dignity and value of people with disabilities.
- Model: The L’Arche home is a place of celebration, spirituality, and connection. Starting in our home and branching out, we work to bring these qualities into the broader community. Distinct from other providers who provide quality, dignified care, the L’Arche Atlanta home is embedded within the local community. Our homes provide the space for mutually-transforming relationships for Core Members, House Assistants, volunteers, and friends to be nourished.
- Fiscal Health: L’Arche’s annual budget has grown steadily to match our expanded programming and reach. We have ended each of the last six years with budget surpluses. Strong board supervision and an independent audit help ensure our financial integrity. The board is committed to fundraising and we execute a revenue development plan to secure funding from diverse sources.
- Strategic Plan: L’Arche is guided by a board-approved strategic plan, which establishes our priority goals and strategies for achieving them.

We continue to progress with our Home for Life campaign, which meets L’Arche Atlanta’s second strategic goal within its 2017-2019 Strategic Plan to GROW: Sustain and Expand Housing Options. The main objective in this goal is to open the second home to double the available housing opportunities of L’Arche Atlanta. This strategy aligns with the larger L’Arche International Federation. Just as L’Arche International has grown and increased its reach around the world since opening its first home in 1964 to having communities on five continents and a membership of over 10,000, so does L’Arche Atlanta seek to expand its programming and residential capacity.

Advocacy: We continued our partnership with GCDD through the Storytelling Project. In 2018, the GCDD Storytelling Project collected 75 stories representing the experience of individuals living with a developmental disability in Georgia. This collection of stories and pictures included representation from 53 of Georgia’s 56 State Senate Districts. We are in the process of completing a film, podcast series, and in-depth stories that will extend the project to other forms of media in 2019.

Partners: In addition to our work with GCDD, our partnership with St. Thomas More in Decatur has afforded us the opportunity to educate the community on disability issues and recruit new volunteers. We have also continued our partnership with Woodlands Garden through the capital campaign.
Outreach and Education: In 2018, over 900 attendees came to nine events, the highest participation in our seven year history. Staff and Core Members spoke at civic and community groups, including Candler School of Theology, three churches, and the Atlanta Autism Consortium forum on housing and disability, reaching many people with compelling, inspirational stories of hope and transformation.

Financial: Over the last 12 months we have raised over $375,000 from individual contributions, community partners, and events. To date, we have raised $1,074,000 through our capital campaign towards the purchase and renovation of a second L'Arche location. In 2019, our annual auction event raised $130,000, an increase of 62.9% from the previous year. In 2019, L’Atlanta rallied our community with a L’Arche Madness fundraising competition, and received $45,000 in donations.

Last year we launched the L'Arche Atlanta Community Council (LACC). The LACC is made up of 14 Atlanta young professionals who work on a variety of strategic projects to extend L'Arche's mission in the community. The group helps with crowdfunding, volunteer projects, and raising awareness. Their recent projects include holding “spirit nights,” hosting a L’Arche Open House, and organizing 30 volunteers to install garden beds.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

L'Arche Atlanta
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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L'Arche Atlanta

Board of directors
as of 9/14/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Jim Swartz

Mercy Care Foundation

Term: 2020 - 2022

Shayla Rumely

Community Volunteer

Ann Rushing

Principal, Rushing CPA

Mackensie Brandt

Senior Campaign Manager, Coxe Curry & Associates

Haqiqa Bolling

Retired Counselor, Renfroe Middle School

Gayle Gellerstedt

Community Volunteer

Marilyn Hammond

Communications Consultant

Robbie Harris

Realtor, Beacham & Company

Dana Mast

Senior Manager, ICF International

Jasmine Okafor

Development Specialist, Association For Clinical Pastoral Education

Gail Schaffer

Attorney, Lueder, Larkin, & Hunt LLC

Matthew Smith

Law Partner, Anderson, Tate, & Carter

Mary Stoops

Pastor, North Decatur Presbyterian Church

Jim Swartz

Labor Law Attorney, Polsinelli

Alan Yorker

Retired Psychologist & Teacher

Mary Stoops

Pastor, North Decatur Presbyterian Church

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/15/2019

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/15/2019

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.