StreetScape Magazine > People & Society > Community Living Marks 40 Years

Community Living Marks 40 Years

PetsWay
Andrews Academy
The Decorating Den

For 40 years, Community Living, Inc. has been committed to excellence and compassion in providing innovative services and opportunities for people with disabilities. Community Living was established in 1978 to provide services to people with disabilities after Senate Bill 40 passed in St. Charles County.  A day activity center now called Support Services for Adults was the first program of the agency.

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The Rack House
Andrews Academy

For those not familiar with the agency, what it does is simple: It works to enrich the lives of people with disabilities so they can achieve their highest potential by providing children and adults with services and programs that allow them to live, learn and work in our community. In turn, they make our community inclusive, diverse and a better place to live.

The agency’s mission comes to life in stories of its impact in the community. Some of the families and individuals the agency serves have shared their amazing stories on the agency website. Joe, an individual who uses Employment Services, works part-time at Steak ‘n Shake. “Joe is a phenomenal worker and always brings positive energy here,” Bethany Klohr, Restaurant Manager at Steak ‘n Shake, said. “Every time he comes in, everyone lifts up and the morale jumps up. Everyone smiles when they’re around him.” This past summer, 24 individuals received technology through the agency’s Technology Fund. Caleb, a participant of the SOAR program, received an iPad Pro. His mom, Rosetta, shared this: “For me to see how excited he was, it comes from a grateful heart. Everything Community Living does as a whole has opened so many doors for him that he would never have had access to otherwise.”

Community Living has experienced a lot of growth and changes over the past 40 years. The agency offers six life enriching programs to over 1,000 individuals with disabilities and their families. Today the agency employs nearly 450 people, with the majority providing personalized client care at 20 service locations throughout St. Charles County. A major highlight of the agency’s history is its merger with Family Support Services in July of 2010. This merger allows Community Living to be there from early childhood to adulthood, helping people with disabilities lead as independent and productive lives as possible.

Each of Community Living’s programs has experienced significant growth since its beginning. Some highlights include the Residential program which provides services to 60 individuals living in 15 homes

throughout the County; its first program, Support Services for Adults, has grown from serving 11 adults to 114; the Adult Recreation program began offering on average 10-20 events per month and now offers 60-70 events per month and the In-Home Respite program has grown to serving 753 families from 53.

Not only have the employees, service sites and programs grown but the agency has had 70 board members since 1978 and volunteers have provided over 50,000 hours of service.

Community Living began its year-long anniversary celebration at its kick-off party on January 25th where staff, board members and supporters celebrated the unveiling of the agency’s 40th logo. The agency invites you to help continue the celebration at its Big Kahuna Bartender Challenge on June 26 at Gettemeier’s in St. Peters and at its Swing 4 Kids Golf Classic at the Links at Dardenne on August 3.

To learn more about services, events, volunteer and job opportunities visit www.communitylivingmo.org. Be sure to follow Community Living on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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