Enhancing the lives of people with developmental disABILITIES by providing them with caring supports and responsive programs and services.
Hope Enterprises, Inc. was founded in 1952 by physician Dr. Max E. Miller, and his wife, Leona, as well as other parents and community leaders in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. From the beginning, the organization was a front runner in providing community services to people with developmental disABILITIES. 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.
Here are some of the significant events that have helped make Hope what it is today:
- The Lycoming County Society for Retarded Children began a project to assist families in the early 1950s. 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 1962.
- 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 began to meet the needs of adults with developmental disABILITIES.
- The Lycoming County Society for Retarded Children merged with Enterprises for the Handicapped to form Hope Enterprises Inc. in 1972.
- Residential programs began in 1972. Services were first provided to people with developmental disABILITIES 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 developmental disABILITIES.
- 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.
- In 2007, Hope Enterprises merged with the CMSU Service System expanding Hope's Residential Services into a seven county region of central PA.
- Founded in 1923, the Lycoming County Crippled Children's Society, later called The Children's Development Center, became a division of Hope Enterprises in 2012. This merger allows Hope to be a comprehensive provider of services throughout an individual's entire lifetime.