L'Arche Chicago (www.larchechicago.org) is a non-profit organization in Oak Park, IL that provides high quality health, housing, and social services to people with with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD), whom L'Arche terms "core members." L'Arche Chicago's unique model of care differs from other community-integrated living arrangements (CILA) in that staff, assistants, and core members live together in homes and develop mutually-transforming relationships through shared life experiences. L'Arche Chicago opened its doors in 2000 with one home, two core members, and two assistants. Today, L'Arche Chicago has three homes, two of which opened in the past four years, and a total of nine core members and fourteen assistants.
As L'Arche Chicago has grown, and anticipates further growth, the organization recognized a need to be able to define, visualize, and express their larger organizational theory of change and identify and track outcomes to measure L'Arche's impact on members, assistants, and the wider community. To do this, the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation collaborated with the Social IMPACT Research Center (IMPACT) to provide technical assistance to L'Arche Chicago with the goal of developing a theory of change