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L'Arche Irenicon (Irenicon Inc.) - Homes of Hope

 PO Box 1177, 53 Wingate Street
 Haverhill, MA 01831
[P] (978) 374-6928 x 102
[F] (978) 373-9097
Pamela McGrath
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2774177

LAST UPDATED: 01/22/2016
Organization DBA L'Arche Boston North
Irenicon, Inc.
L'Arche Irenicon
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No



Mission StatementMORE »

L'Arche's mission is to make known the gifts of people with developmental/intellectual disabilities, revealed through mutually transforming relationships;
to foster an environment in community that responds to the changing needs of our members, while  being faithful to the core values of our founding story, and
engage in our diverse cultures, working together toward a more human society.

Mission Statement

L'Arche's mission is to make known the gifts of people with developmental/intellectual disabilities, revealed through mutually transforming relationships;
to foster an environment in community that responds to the changing needs of our members, while  being faithful to the core values of our founding story, and
engage in our diverse cultures, working together toward a more human society.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Projected Income $1,570,021.00
Projected Expense $1,570,021.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • L'Arche Boston North Residential Services for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

L'Arche's mission is to make known the gifts of people with developmental/intellectual disabilities, revealed through mutually transforming relationships;
to foster an environment in community that responds to the changing needs of our members, while  being faithful to the core values of our founding story, and
engage in our diverse cultures, working together toward a more human society.

Background Statement

L'Arche (French "the Ark") Boston North , is a human service provider founded in 1983, located in Haverhill, Essex County, MA.  Founded 33 years ago by a group of parents who learning of the L'Arche faith-based (all faiths) community model (founded in France in 1960s) set their minds to creating a community in Massachusetts.  Their dream was to provide a place where their sons and daughters could spiritually grow, belong and achieve a full meaningful life as adults long after they were no longer alive to care for them. 

Today, we own four homes in Haverhill, MA serving 16 adults with developmental/intellectual disabilities (core members) and the 12 live in staff (assistants). Boston North's  program services are funded through a contract with the MA Department of Developmental Services.  Contractual funding covers s the purchase of property or homes.   We fundraise  the monies some housing costs but the cost of furnishings and complete outfitting of a new home will be funded through grants and a capital campaign.

L'Arche Boston North  is part of an international federation, L'Arche International (147 communities in 37 countries around the world).    Each community is independent and self sustaining, reflecting the local culture, language and traditions.  Jean Vanier, noted Canadian author and philosopher, founded L'Arche in France in l964.  He was deeply troubled by the plight of those with intellectual disabilities living in institutions so he invited two men to live with him in a small house in Trosly outside Paris.  Jean quickly realized that while the men were in need of a home their more overwhelming need was for acceptance, belonging and mutual friendship.  This single act sparked the growth of L'Arche around the world. 
L'Arche communities are places of welcome, each person, core members and assistants alike are welcomed as they are, with his or her own history, gifts, culture, traditions and religion.  All our communities welcome people of diverse backgrounds and religious traditions--Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindu and others including those who follow no religion tradition.   L'Arche is  a microcosm of what is possible when a society recognizes the importance of each one of its members, regardless of their differences and abilities.  Our mission is two fold, providing a full and meaningful life for our core members along with teaching all of us who work as assistants in each community the value of putting the weakest members at the center of daily life. 
The L'Arche global federation celebrated its 50th anniversary this year as a "sign of hope" in our troubled world. L'Arche communities located in such diverse locales as the Ivory Coast, Palestine and across the US daily celebrate the gifts of the intellectually disabled and model the meaning of acceptance and value of difference in the larger communities in which we live.

Impact Statement

Accomplishments:                                                                    Successful negotiation of  a thirty year capital lease agreement for new construction of an ADA accessible home for five (core members) to be built in Merrimac, Massachusetts. This fully accessible home will provide a safe and nurturing space enabling our core members to "age in place" for as long as it is medically reasonable. Our plan is to sell one of our homes as soon as the new home is occupied, beginning our plan of  replacing homes which no longer serve the needs of our community.       Successfully restructured the Board of Directors recruiting new members and codified governance policies and procedures enabling us to attract and retain area professionals to serve on our Board.

 Plan and execute a $200,000 capital campaign (over 4 years) to finance the furnishing, appliances and interior details to appropriately outfit the new home.
  Increase awareness of L'Arche Boston North unique mission growing donor database of financial and volunteer support working collaboratively with the Board and other local and regional community partners.
    Obtain funding through grant proposals and major gifts for the renovation of two (existing homes) to update kitchens.
    Increase awareness of L'Arche Boston North  mission growing donor database of financial, volunteer support working in collaboration with  Board and other Haverhill community partners. 


Needs Statement

   Raise $200,000 to appropriately outfit the interior of the new Merrimac, MA ADA accessible home to enable us to  continue to provide a safe and secure home accomodating the aging needs of our core members (disabled residents).            

 Renovate current office space to a more accessible, cost effective layout to accommodate the  full time (6 person) administrative staff.
  Reach out and recruit area professionals to serve on L'Arche's Board with an eye towards the skill sets necessary to build the experience and expertise needed to further grow and enhance our program in the coming years.
 Increase donor database through innovative fundraising efforts; via social media and other means to diversify the demographics of our donor base increasing Board participation in area communities on our behalf.

CEO Statement

Families of intellectually disabled children face many challenges in advocating for their sons and daughters at every stage of their lives.  One of their most difficult decisions is finding a home that will provide not only physical support but also the emotional and spiritual support for a meaningful life when they are no longer around to care for them.
Many things have changed in the US and in France since 1964 when Jean Vanier moved two men into his home out of an institution.  While we still have a long way to go to establish equality for the disabled, today there are choices for families.   L'Arche communities offer one of these choices.
In 1983 the founding parents of Irenicon committed to making it possible for parents of intellectually disabled adults in Massachusetts to have a L'Arche community residential option. 
FUNDING:  L'Arche is under contract with and works closely (all core members are referred by DDS) with  MA Department of Developmental Services.  DDS case workers and each of our core members and (intellectually disabled adults) and guardians work together developing Individual Service Plans (ISP)  to ensure that each core member has the opportunity to reach his/her potential and can take their own unique place in society.
Turning dreams to reality, each of our communities is a springboard of opportunity where members  with and without disabilities get customized support to  discover,  develop and share their unique -- talents.  Individuals are invited to share fully in community life, in both residential  and non-residential settings, as best suited to their specific needs and  hopes.  More than just inclusion, it is  about making  the most of life together!
We hope you enjoy learning more about our history, mission,  leadership, structure, and life together.  We invite you to visit our community and experience life in a L'Arche home.   We offer monthly information sessions to introduce interested community members to L'Arche.  It is an opportunity to meet our core members and assistants to discover and learn about community life at L'Arche.  Contact us for dates and times.
L'Arche is a way of life, but it's also a model of care that is unique.  In our communities...
* People with intellectual disabilities (core members) are at the heart of L'Arche.  They are not clients, patients,  or recipients  of services, but rather they  are friends, teachers and companions.
* People without intellectual disabilities (assistants)  grow through their encounters in L'Arche.  Through daily acts of care, trust, and friendship, they develop into  ambassadors of compassion and leaders of social change for the common good.
* A divided society is mended through inclusivity where people with many differences - socio-economic status, race, religion, and intellectual capacity - live and work together.

Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
The L'Arche Boston North  community is located 38 miles north of Boston in Essex County in the Merrimack Valley region of Massachusetts.  Our geographic area is the communities of  the northeast region of Massachusetts.   Our funding and contract oversight comes through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Merrimack  Valley/ Northeast region of the Department of Developmental Services, located in Lawrence, MA. 

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Developmentally Disabled Services/Centers
  2. Housing, Shelter - Independent Housing for People With Disabilities
  3. Human Services - Developmentally Disabled Services/Centers

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



L'Arche Boston North Residential Services for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

L'Arche Boston North  provides residential homes for adults (ages 22 and older) with intellectual disabilities.   Founded in 1983, we own four residences that are home to 16 core members (disabled) and the assistants (support staff) that live with them.  The mission  of assistants is to accompany people with a disability in their daily lives: preparing meals, participating in activities (vacations, celebrations...) taking care of medical care and hygiene.   A number of assistants live in the home with people with disabilities.  Residential services is our only program, our homes operate 24/7 365 days a year.   Many of our core members attend a variety of day programs offered by DDS as a part of their Individual Service Plan (ISP), some have jobs in the community.
At  L'Arche the emphasis is on creating a lifelong home and a community of support*.  The focus is  living together in an atmosphere of friendship, trust and respect. In L'Arche this is a committment to welcome differences, to build relationships of trust and friendship with people who have disabilities. In order to do this well we grow very slowly.  The size of our program gives us the flexibility to offer, individualized supports for a diverse group of people.  Included among our core members are a married couple living independently,  supported by assistants as needed;  and a young man living independently in his own apartment, who works at the State House in Boston, as a disability advocate. Our assistants support each of the core members based on their specific individual needs— in all the tasks of daily living.
Medical science has made many advances increasing the life expectancy of the disabled.  Our mission of lifelong homes makes it necessary for us to build a fully accessible home in our community to provide a comfortable, safe and nurturing place for our core members to "age in place" with the friends they have lived with for over 30 years.  
 * L'Arche communities around the world are guided by five fundamental principles:
  "Whatever their gifts or their limitations, people are all bound together in a common humanity."  Everyone is of unique and sacred value, and everyone has the  same dignity and the same rights. 
The five fundamental rights of  each person include:  the right to life, to care, to a home, to  education and to work.  Also, since the deepest need of a human being is to love and to be loved, each person has a right to  friendship, to communion and to a spiritual life."
AN ARK FOR THE POOR (The Story of L'Arche), Jean Vanier, pg 118 
Budget  $1,760,000.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Residential Care for Individuals with Disabilities
Population Served People/Families with of People with Disabilities Adults Elderly and/or Disabled
Program Short-Term Success  One of the major benefits of the core member and assistant relationship is that core members are encouraged to pursue their dreams enabling happy fulfilling lives.  Core members and assistants get to know one another and empower one another to explore new paths.  An example is Jane* (a 65 year old core member) who has begun Irish Step dancing lessons this fall – the entire community will attend her recital in the spring. Another is a young, non-verbal, autistic man who is very active in local YMCA swimming, takes horseback riding lessons, and has recently started guitar lessons.   These activities make a profound difference in the quality of life of our core members.   On the clinical side, (anecdotally) some core members show a marked decrease in medications for behavioral problems when they are engaged and supported in their interests.
Program Long-Term Success 
L’Arche Boston North changes lives both of our core members (disabled) and the live in assistants that support them in creating homes. The unique nature of the L’Arche philosophy built on mutual relationships and trust empowers core members and challenges assistants to work together to support one another in their daily lives.
Our assistants come to us from our local communities and from countries around the world. Many are in their “ gap year” and have an interest in service work,  others are exploring a career in human services, they typically work with us for 18 mos to two years. All of our assistants tell us of the transforming nature of living together with the core members, the lessons learned and the lifelong friendships that develop.
Program Success Monitored By  The Department of Developmental Services Office of Quality Enhancement (QUEST) is responsible for providing the necessary oversight of our agency. Through their extensive licensing and certification process we receive our license to operate in the State of Massachusetts. The highest license an agency can receive as a result of their survey is a 2 year license. Depending upon the cycle, the visit will either be a full survey of both licensing and certification indicators, or it will be an abbreviated licensing survey of critical indicators. The licensing tool utilized focuses on essential safeguards that must be in place for the agency to do business. The safeguards are in the following areas: Personal Safety, Environmental Safety, Communication, Health, Human Rights, Competent and skilled workforce and goal development, skill acquisition and implementation of the ISP (Individuals Support Plan). The Certification tool goes beyond the essential safeguards that form the basis for licensure and sets out the standards upon which a providers support strategies are evaluated for a particular service. Knowledge of the individuals we support is the cornerstone by which service delivery systems are made. The agency is therefore rated on its ability to deliver services to individuals as indicated in their ISP, as well as provide support to foster community membership, freely given relationships, rights and dignity, individual control and decision making, personal growth and accomplishments, and health and safety.
Examples of Program Success  A success story that we are proud of is that of a young, nonverbal, austistic man who came to us with significant behavioral issues.  At the time he came to live at L’Arche he was taking a number of medications for these issues.  Today, 10 years later he takes only vitamins and happily lives in one of our homes with three other core members. He participates in all of our community group activities and has an active life in the larger community swimming, horseback riding and taking guitar lessons.We credit the size of our program with our ability to work one on one with core members, assistants, DDS coordinators and families to put in place the right mix of supports to enable core members to live fulfilling, meaningful lives.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Boston North's  major challenge is to raise the funds necessary to complete construction, furnishing and opening a fully ADA accessible home to serve the needs of our aging core members.  




CEO/Executive Director Ms. Swanna Champlin
CEO Term Start July 2002
CEO Email
CEO Experience

Ms. Champlin has served as Executive Director at L'Arche Boston North (Irenicon) for the past ten years.  Ms. Champlin special education teacher in the California public school system prior to joining L'Arche.  She has a MSLD from Minot State University, SD and a BA from Augustana College, Sioux Falls, ND.



Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --
Ms. Vanessa Henry Community Coordinator

 Formerly a case worker with the Arlington, VA County, Department of Developmental Services, Ms. Henry has served as Irenicon's Community Coordinator for the past two years --she held a leadership team role as Head of House prior to this role.  Ms. Henry has a BS in Humanities from Lesley College, Cambridge, MA



Ms. Jennifer Matthews Program Coordinator

Ms. Matthews has served as Program Coordinator for L'Arche Boston North for the past  7 years..  Ms. Matthews is the primary contact with our state funder DDS (Department of Developmental Services) and in that role oversees all program documentation and compliance requirements for our program contract.


Ms Pamela McGrath Director of Development & Outreach

Ms. McGrath is L'Arche Boston North's Director of Development and Outreach.  She has over 20 years of successful experience in grant funding, capital campaigns,. events along with extensive experience developing innovative approaches of  partnerships and collaboration with area business and community organizations to advance the mission and profile of nonprofit organizations.   



Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Mass Nonprofit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

L'Arche has been in a period of restructuring in two key area over the past couple of years.  The restructuring of our Contract with DDS was key to us receiving adequate funding for the services we provide, along with our hiring of a part time CPA to work with our bookkeeper to tightened financial controls.  At the same time, we obtained funding for an organizational consultant to address the area of Board Governance codifying policies and procedures for successful operation of a "working Board".  In short, we have put structures in place to help us accomplish our capital campaign for the new home and define our plans for the long term.  

Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 20
Number of Part Time Staff 5
Number of Volunteers 0
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 5
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 15
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 16
Male: 6
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Exempt
State Registration Exempt

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Ms. Margaret Hogan
Board Chair Company Affiliation Chief Executive Officer, Boston Senior Home Care, 89 South St., #501, Boston, MA 02111
Board Chair Term June 2015 - June 2018
Board Co-Chair Ms Deborah Rosser
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation Sr. VP of Lending, MassDevelopment
Board Co-Chair Term June 2014 - July 2017

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Russell Boekenkroeger Principal, Mathesis Voting
Ms. Rosa Bruno Co-founder, Lynx Consulting Voting
Ms. Swanna Champlin Executive Director, L'Arche Irenicon NonVoting
Mr. Patrick Driscoll Driscoll Funeral Home Voting
Mr. Joseph Kennedy Sr. VP and CFO, Georgetown Bank Voting
Ms. Frances Marchesini Core Member, L'Arche Irenicon Voting
Ms. Mary Peters Beacon Marine Voting
Ms. Colleen Smith Owner, Lynx Consulting Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 8
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 6
Male: 2
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 50%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 20%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Board Governance
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Finance

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Over the past three years L'Arche Boston North has successfully recruited five new Board members.  During the past year Mather Associates, an organizational consulting firm,  was hired to work with the Board to review, recommend  and implement a new Board governance structure.  A grant from the Institution for  Savings, Ipswich, MA funded this work.  A standing Governance Committee was formed and new policies and procedures were drafted to set written criteria for Board membership, term limits (3- 3 year terms)  and to develop written policies (Conflict of Interest, Board Selection Criteria and Whistleblower Policy).  Our recruitment efforts for new Board members are ongoing as we seek to acquire the skill sets required for our growth and long term success.

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Projected Income $1,570,021.00
Projected Expense $1,570,021.00
Form 990s

2015 990

2014 990

2013 990

2012 990

2011 990

Audit Documents

2015 Audit

2014 Audit

2013 Audit

2012 Audit

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Revenue $1,811,632 $1,464,976 $1,235,857
Total Expenses $1,708,430 $1,354,204 $1,277,812

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$4,890 $10,788 $10,688
Government Contributions $1,434,816 $1,090,448 $854,384
    Federal -- -- --
    State $1,434,816 $1,090,448 $854,384
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $145,045 $123,197 $45,692
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $221,597 $234,688 $324,919
Investment Income, Net of Losses $59 $71 $174
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $5,225 $5,784 --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Program Expense $1,450,306 $1,181,703 $1,065,851
Administration Expense $179,791 $106,114 $126,646
Fundraising Expense $78,333 $66,387 $85,315
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.06 1.08 0.97
Program Expense/Total Expenses 85% 87% 83%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 5% 5% 9%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Assets $1,570,021 $1,481,523 $1,387,836
Current Assets $496,163 $337,782 $175,491
Long-Term Liabilities $751,369 $779,464 $833,792
Current Liabilities $100,778 $87,387 $50,144
Total Net Assets $717,874 $614,672 $503,900

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $0.00
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 2.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal $200,000.00
Capital Campaign Dates Jan 2016 - June 2019
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 4.92 3.87 3.50

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 48% 53% 60%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's audited financials for fiscal years 2015 and 2014 and per the IRS Form 990s for fiscal year 2013. The breakout of contributions from foundations and corporations, for FY13, is per the audits.



The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?