About Us: History
In 2002 Hope Enterprises, Inc. observed its golden anniversary and 50 years of service to the greater Williamsport area.
In 1952, there were no community services available for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The parents of a daughter with such disabilities, Dr. and Mrs. Max C. Miller, together with a small group of other parents, made a promise to do something in Williamsport, PA. Faced with the care and lack of educational opportunities for their children, they answered the challenge with the organization of the School of Hope. That solution became a model of today’s community services for individuals with mental retardation.
Starting out as a project of the Lycoming County Society for Retarded Children, the enrollment of the School of Hope continued to grow so that in 1958 a building was constructed to give the school a permanent home. In 1962, increasing enrollment numbers necessitated the construction of an addition to the original school building.
After great advances in program development for children as well as adults, the need for a work activities program was recognized. By March 1970 a Joint Workshop Committee of five members was formed by the Lycoming County Society for Retarded Children, Inc. and the Lycoming County Association for the Blind. It was incorporated as Enterprises for the Handicapped in May 1970. The first paychecks for work completed in the Work Activities Program were issued on October 22, 1970 to adults served by Hope.
In 1970, recommendations were reviewed by Enterprises for the Handicapped for building residential facilities and options were proposed for the Lyco Systems building. The Workshop at the old Lyco Systems building was opened in 1972. Two years later, the Lycoming County Society for Retarded Children merged with Enterprises for the Handicapped to form Hope Enterprises, Inc.
The Residential Program began in 1973 with the opening of the first adult group home in Williamsport. In 1982, the first Intermediate Care Facility was opened. Today, Hope Enterprises manages 30 group homes for both children and adults.
During the late summer of 1994, the new addition to the Adult Rehabilitation Center was completed. The Adult Day Care Program, which had been housed in the Dr. Max C. Miller Training Center since the inception of the School of Hope, moved into the facility. For the first time since the agency’s beginning, a continuum of services for adults is offered under one roof. The move allowed for expansion of the Early Learning Program and increased inclusion of children without special needs. It also provided space for the offices of the Community Employment Services and Residential Services.
In October 2007, Hope Enterprises expanded its services to include programs from the Columbia, Montour, Snyder and Union counties (CMSU). Services is this region include the Community Homes, Life Sharing, and the Community Supports Program.
Today Hope Enterprises is a comprehensive service provider with the widest possible range of programs available. Always receptive to pursuing new techniques to enhance our individuals' quality of life, Hope continues to be on the cutting edge of the human services field. Our objective remains to help individuals with special needs overcome obstacles and to enjoy full, happy lives.
Questions About Our History
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