L'Arche Portland was founded in 1985 as Nehalem House by a group of families and spiritual leaders who were called to provide a community of faith and belonging for people with intellectual disabilities. We opened Nehalem House in 1987 when Rob, Pat, and David said "yes" to sharing life together.
In 1993, we joined the international movement of L'Arche, and opened our second home, Neahkahnie House, in 1995. In 2017, we launched monthly community gatherings outside of our homes to better support our growing community, and in 2019, opened our third home, Gabriel House.
L’Arche is a French word meaning The Ark, a place of belonging for all. And although our roots are in the Roman Catholic tradition, L’Arche Portland has become both ecumenical and interfaith, united in a shared vision and spirit, realized through mutually transforming relationships.