Our History

Our dream began in the mid-eighties when we first learned about the works of Jean Vanier.  Jean Vanier established a community in Trosly, France in 1964, which he named L'Arche.  The first residents of L'Arche were two developmentally disabled men who had been institutionalized most of their lives.  Vanier believed that every human being had the right to dignity, and the right to celebrate that dignity within the context of a community.

In 2005, a group of community members in the La Crosse area formed to determine needs and support for an AFH.  By April 2006, a 12-member Board of Directors was created.  One year later, Bridges of Belonging officially incorporated; and by August 2008, Bridges of Belonging received its 501(c)(3) status as a non-profit organization.




Groundbreaking for the "The Dwelling Place" began on July 16, 2012.  The home officially opened for residents and family on January 1, 2013. 


Bridges of Belonging is guided by the same core values and principles that Vanier instilled in L'Arche:

  1. The recognition of the unique value of all persons, with or without a developmental disability.
  2. The recognition that a life shared in relationship with others, through prayer, work and celebration, is a fulfilled life.
  3. The recognition that we are all created, by God, to give and receive love (to will the good of another).

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Our Mission

Creating a Christian community, rooted in the Beatitudes, which supports and protects the dignity of persons with disabilities.

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