Meet the Team

Meet our People

The Staff of L'Arche Cleveland

L’Arche communities require a lot of behind-the-scenes action to make community happen. L’Arche Cleveland is no different, and we owe it to the dedicated staff members who are committed to our mission.

Jennifer O'Malia

Community Leader
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Born and raised in the Greater Cleveland area, I started at L’Arche when I was 20 years old and have spent almost my entire adult life in the community. I have been both a live-in and live-out assistant, house leader at several homes, Program Director, Assistant Director, and now the Community Leader. Prior to starting at L’Arche, I worked with Fr. Jim O’Donnell in inner city Cleveland working in schools as a tutor, working with single mothers navigating the welfare system, and visiting the L’Arche community for dinner and Mass. The Community Leader at the time asked if I’d consider working in the homes for a couple evenings a week, and as they say, the rest is history. When I have time for hobbies between my L’Arche life and home life, I love to read. I have a great love of interior design and organizing, for both myself and family and friends. I have been married Dan for 21 years, and we have 4 children. I feel so blessed to be able to raise my children in L’Arche and to have a spouse that loves L’Arche as much as I do.

jen@larchecleveland.org

Heather Homer

Assistant Director
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Born and raised in Plattsburgh, NY, my first experience with L’Arche was in Bognor Regis, England. I have a Master of Arts in Teaching people with developmental disabilities, so I have always been drawn to this field. After my time in England was over, I missed being able to engage and share in the teachable moments that come from living everyday life together. I reached out to L’Arche USA and asked to be sent to the area with the most need, which was Cleveland. In my free time, I enjoy music and singing, being outdoors, and volunteering at the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter.

heather@larchecleveland.org

Anna Elizabeth Winters and Evelyn Jane Winters Pytel

Operations Manager and Assistant to the Operations Manger
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Anna grew up in Columbia Station and graduated from Baldwin Wallace with a degree in Psychology. She joined L’Arche in 2010 and fell in love with Core Members Larry, Elsa Mae and Bozey at Serenity. She was drawn to the L’Arche mission because it reminded her of how her of her own family experiences. When her grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Anna’s grandfather had said “She’s my wife and will stay in her own home.” In addition to her role in L’Arche, she is a photographer and the owner and baker of Whisk Me Away Bakery. She loves making crafts, Christmas, and anything Disney. When in the office, Anna will be joined by her new daughter, Evie, and says, “I am in love with being a mom and am so happy to be able to start my family in L’Arche!”

anna@larchecleveland.org

Mary Hurley

Office Manager
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I was born and raised on the east side of Cleveland and have lived here most of my life. I began working in the field of developmental disabilities in 1979 as a direct service provider, and later became a Program Coordinator and Administrator for two different private nonprofit organizations.  In addition, I have served in the Peace Corps and traveled far and wide. I joined L’Arche Cleveland in 2004 and have been an Assistant, House Leader, and Program Director. With L’Arche’s blessing, I continued to travel and was welcomed back upon each return. In 2015, I took an extended break to attend to family needs and returned as the Office Manager in 2018. L’Arche and I have been a good match for each other through the years. Outside of L’Arche, I coordinate a small nonprofit program that supports and implements a variety of grassroots projects in Haiti. I enjoy gathering with family and friends for a meal, adult beverages and a long visit, watching the Tribe, travelling, reading, live theater and going to the movies.

mary@larchecleveland.org

Lizette Hoevel

Medical Assistant
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I am originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana and moved to Toledo, Ohio when I became a Sister of Notre Dame 35 years ago. I received a Bachelors in Elementary Special Education and a Master’s in Special Education. I was an elementary teacher for 10 years. I also attended Clinical Pastoral Education at SVCMC to become a chaplain. I decided I needed a break from teaching and was already familiar with L’Arche from reading Henri Nouwen’s books. I came to Cleveland to visit and fell in love! In my spare time, I love to crochet, bake, cook, and spend time in nature hiking.

Fran Richman

Financial Consultant
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Fran has been a part of the L’Arche Cleveland community since 2001.

fran@larchecleveland

Alex Bell

Communications Specialist
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I initially came to L’Arche as a music therapy practicum student in 2015. After graduating, I wanted to learn more about the living in community and became an assistant. I completed my music therapy education while working at L’Arche part-time and chose to come back full time in early 2019. L’Arche has become a second family to me, and I’ve loved seeing the community grow and change through the years. I’m the definition of an “animal person,” and I love drinking coffee, visiting new places, and being with my family, friends, and cats.

alex@larchecleveland.org

Ben Lyons

House Leader - Abbey House
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I grew up in Columbus, OH and moved to Cleveland to be closer to my family in Berea. I studied at The Ohio State University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Art Education and a teaching license for Visual Art. During my studies, I worked and volunteered alongside people with developmental disabilities. There, I was introduced to the writings of Henri Nouwen and first learned of L’Arche, which was closely aligned with my personal philosophy that friendship was a stronger motivator than material goods. After college, I moved to Sichuan province, China, where I worked as an ESL instructor at the university level for 2 ½ years. In addition, I was employed by the Mennonite Central Committee and worked with a local non-profit that helped to promote cultural exchange between schools in China and the US. After coming back to the US and deciding to move to Cleveland, I knew I had to connect with the L’Arche community here.  In 2018, I met the love of my life, Rebekah – a native of Shaker Heights – and am now happy to call Cleveland “home.”

ben@larchecleveland.org

Tina Young

House Leader - Agape House
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Tina is a longtime member of the L’Arche Cleveland community and brings laughter everywhere she goes. Tina has a background in criminal justice. She is an avid reader and is always on the lookout for new books and bookshelves. Tina lives her husband, Cleveland, and dog, Gallagher.

tina@larchecleveland.org

Jylian Purtee

House Leader - Eugene's Hope House
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I am from Delaware, OH. I came to Cleveland to go to school at Cleveland State University, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. I worked at Camp Echoing Hills, a Christian camp that serves individuals with disabilities, for the summers 2014-2017 and have been an active volunteer there since that time. I first learned about L’Arche when two of my close friends joined the community. In February 2019, I joined the community myself and have loved getting to know the community. I’m an animal lover, so I love spending time with my cats and working on my aquarium, and I foster for a local cat rescue.

jylian@larchecleveland.org

De'Shaun Adair

House Leader - Mercy House
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I am born and raised on the west side of Cleveland, and originally learned of L’Arche as a student leader of the Friends with L’Arche program at St. Ignatius High School. After high school, I attended Cuyahoga Community College and Baldwin Wallace University. I returned to St. Ignatius as a partnership moderator of the Arrupe Neighborhood Partnership, and as a learning coach of The Welsh Academy. In my spare time, I love to journal and go for walks around downtown and Ohio City/Tremont neighborhoods. I love to sing and spend time with family and my close friends, but my favorite thing to do is go to Mitchell’s Ice Cream and enjoy a Cleveland Brownie Sundae! One of my greatest accomplishments is being a proud big brother to my baby sister who is in college in Atlanta. Jim Skerl was a big part of what drew me to L’Arche as a high school student and when I was looking to try something new professionally, L’Arche was the first place that came to mind. I love the importance of community, faith, and prayer. I have found in the time I have spent in L’Arche that the Core Members give so much to me, sometimes more than I can ever give to them. Jim Skerl put it best when I was in high school, “Being present with is sometimes more important than doing for.”

deshaun@larchecleveland.org