Founded in 1953, The Arc Macon has a long history of serving the needs of adults with developmental disabilities. Growing from the first organizational meeting to a staff of over 150, The Arc Macon continues to grow and actively demonstrate it’s mission of supporting individual development and improving the quality of life of individuals with developmental disabilities in the middle Georgia area through choices of meaningful activities, jobs, and living options in the community. To download a full history of the organization, click here, or view a brief history below.
1953 – 1963
- First organizational meeting – the Bibb County Child Guidance Center created the Macon Association for Retarded Children (MARC).
- The Summer program started at Baptist Tabernacle, assisted by Mrs. Joanna Gorman, psychiatric social worker – No classes were available in public schools.
- Class started at Virgil Powers School under the direction of Mrs. A.L. Mullins with a morning and afternoon group.
- Thirteen students, ages 6-15 were enrolled and there was a waiting list.
- MARC was chartered and February was proclaimed “Retarded Children’s Week” by Mayor B.F. Merritt. (1956)
- Application made to United Givers Fund.
- Sunshine Cottage opened (1957)
- After one year, Sunshine Cottage became Timmy Turtle Nursery.
- Louise Young volunteered to organize a camp program, which soon had 45 campers and a volunteer staff of 28.
- Mrs. Young sees lives being changed: “For the first time in his life, he rode a bus to town by himself, went to a movie alone and had a soda at the drug store. This boy is 20 years old and when he came to MARC Workshop, he couldn’t do even the simplest things. He was seldom out of his mother’s sight and was completely dependent. Now he can work in a vegetable garden and do many of the everyday things most of us take for granted.”
1964 – 1974
- New workshop opened and the Bibb County Exchange Club adopted the new building as a 5-year project.
- The last door-to-door drive was held and MARC joined UGF.
- President Lucas stresses the need for a facility to serve 12-26 year olds.
- High Hope School founded for mentally retarded children ages 12-16
- Mrs. Bertha Rawls started lucky Duck Nursery for black children.
- H.B. 94-142 passes. The House Education Committee put out a “do pass” on a bill in the Georgia General Assembly to mandate educational opportunities to handicapped children. Senator Bobby Rowan brought it to the Senate where it passed 51-0. “Let’s give these children their rights,” House passes 192-0. A long fight finally pays off – handicapped children can go to public school.
- Youth ARC formed.
- Lucky Duck gets a state grant for $11,600.
1975 – 1985
- Louise Young retired and Helen Glawson succeeded her as director.
- Six temporary staff positions are funded through the CETA program and a grant is received to fund an Infant Stimulation Program.
- Porter Fund and Community Development money received to obtain a new building on Sheraton Drive for MARC offices and expansion of workshop (Star Industries).
- Program Coordinator hired to provide greater opportunity for increased services.
- Housing funds applied for through HUD, Section 202/8, for two homes. A second application was submitted to HUD for an additional three homes to meet community residential needs for the mentally retarded.
- Camp program expands and is held at Camp Will-A-Way
- Four group homes opened
- Residential director and case manager are hired.
1986 – 1996
- Helen Glawson retired and Delores Duncan was hired as the new director
- ARC entered into an agreement with the local Dental Society to donate services to person with mental retardation that are unable to pay.
- An additional case manager position was established. Consumer services were increased to include medical, food, clothing, employment and community living.
- The ARC Accounting Department was computerized.
- A group home opened on Crestview Drive to serve three ladies.
- The Arc’s Constitution and Bylaws were revised. Macon Association for Retarded Citizens officially changed to
- Association for Retarded Citizens-Macon (ARC-Macon).
- A greenhouse was built on Arc Macon property to increase work-training opportunities.
- Medicaid Waiver approval received for qualified group home residents. (91)
- Two group homes opened for men on Jeffersonville Road.
- The ARC Work Center opened with eleven employees and one supervisor. The main contract is with the U.S. Postal Service.
- Construction began in September for two homes to serve three ladies each.
- First residential apartment sites opened.
1997 – 2007
- More apartment sites open.
- Supported Employment program continues to grow.
- After-school care program started on a limited basis.
- Name Change: Advocacy Resource Center (replaces Association for Retarded Citizens)
- Celebration of 50th anniversary.
- Several new apartment sites were developed and several new supported employment sites developed including an on-site contract at YKK, Inc.
- Good-2-Great project started as a collaborative venture with two other agencies (on-going person-centered training), receiving national attention.
- ARC-Macon chosen as the 2007 “Provider of the Year
- The Day Support program grew from a modest eight individuals to 26.
- Purchased our first non HUD-subsidized home in a very nice residential neighborhood
- Andy Harrell promoted to Chief Administrative Officer
2008 – Present
- Adopted person-centered concepts in their training and programming. (08)
- Opened our first two “Host Home” residences
- Accredited as a Georgia Special Olympics Agency with our own volunteer coordinator.
- Office computers updated to a networked system and computers and printers installed at residential sites, which are networked to the office.
- Started a review process to devise a new five-year strategic plan.
- Two group homes opened in the Oakview subdivision.
- Purchased Bleckley County and Macon administrative buildings
- Katrina Spooner joined The Arc Macon team as Chief Administrative Officer
- Name Change- ARC-Macon became The Arc Macon