Hope Enterprises, Inc. was founded in 1952 by a Williamsport, PA physician, Dr. Max E. Miller, and his wife, Leona, as well as other parents and community leaders. From the beginning, the organization was a front runner in providing community services to people with mental retardation. Families were faced with the care of their children, but no community services were available for them. The only options were to keep their children at home or place them in an institution.
Some significant events in the creation of Hope Enterprises, Inc. are as follows:
- The Lycoming County Society for Retarded Children began a project to
assist families in the early 1950’s. Classes were held in a church
basement for children and adults.
- In 1958, a building was constructed in Williamsport to provide a
permanent home for what became the “School of Hope”.
- Increasing enrollment resulted in an addition to the original school in
- The early learning program began in 1971 to serve the needs of children
prior to entry into a school setting. Today this program includes
children with and without special needs.
- A joint workshop committee was formed by the Lycoming County Society
for Retarded Children and the Lycoming County Association for the Blind.
“Enterprises for the Handicapped” was incorporated in May, 1970. A
vocational workshop was begun to meet the needs of adults with mental
- The Lycoming County Society for Retarded Children merged with
Enterprises for the Handicapped to form Hope Enterprises Inc. in 1972.
- Residential programs were begun in 1972. Services were first provided
to people with mental retardation who were living in the community. As
emphasis shifted from institutions to community living,
group homes were
opened followed by Lifesharing and
In Home Services.
- Community Employment Services (CES) began in 1993. CES provides job
training and placement for individuals with mental retardation.
- Northumberland County Community Employment Services (NCES) was begun in
1994 to provide job training and placement services in that county.
- In 1994, a new addition to the workshop on Catawissa Avenue was
completed. The Adult Day Care Program was relocated from the School of
Hope to its new location with expanded enrollment.
- The Community Access Program (CAP) was established in 2003 to provide volunteer work, social/recreational activities, job skills training and life skills to people in Lycoming County.
Hope Enterprises, Inc. is a comprehensive service provider with a wide range of programs and services. Always receptive to pursuing new techniques and ideas, Hope continues to be on the cutting edge in this field. Our objective remains - Enhancing the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities by providing them with responsive services and supports.
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