Helping People SucceedBuilding Successful Families and Futures – One Life at a Time!
As Helping People Succeed embarks on our Capital Campaign Building Futures, Changing Lives to secure a permanent home for the people we serve, our staff, volunteers, board of directors and the community, we’d like to share our rich, diverse and successful history. The following reveals the path that we have traveled from the start as Pioneer Occupational Center for the Handicapped to today’s Helping People Succeed. We’ve come a long way in our quest to help people succeed and are looking forward to another 50+ years!
- Pioneer Occupational Center for the Handicapped, Inc. founded in 1964 by a group of parents who wanted their sons and daughters with intellectual disabilities to do more than watch television at home all day by themselves!
- Tri-County Rehabilitation Center became the name in 1974 as vocational and work experience programs became available including food service, carpentry, home economics and adult basic education. Adults with various disabilities also had the opportunity to perform subcontract work for pay for companies such as IBM, Grumman Aerospace, Shurhold Products and various flower farms!
- Infants and toddlers with diagnosed conditions such as Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, sensory issues, i.e., as visual impairment, deaf or hard of hearing and multiple disabilities became a major focus in 1978. Parents of infants and toddlers were provided with emotional support, specific training and weekly plans to help their children gain the skills and aptitudes to become healthy, productive adults.
- Tri-County TEC became the name in 1984 and the world changed for the better for adults with disabilities and the entire organization. Employment in jobs in the community became a reality for adults with disabilities especially those with significant disabilities. Businesses began to recognize the value in hiring adults with disabilities based on their work ethic, retention and ability! Since 1984, we have helped more than 4,000 adults with disabilities obtain and maintain employment!
- With the establishment of the Children’s Services Councils in Martin (1988) and St. Lucie (1990) counties, services for children blossomed. We began to provide services for children who are at risk of abuse and neglect through the Healthy Families program; and the BRAIN (Building Readiness among Infants Now) program, universal for all parents of newborns in Martin and St. Lucie County! Currently our children’s programs serve 4,500+ families annually!
- Behavioral Health Services became part of Tri-County TEC in 1990 offering behavioral and mental health services to adults with disabilities and students with behavioral issues helping them gain the control, attitude and skills to work, live and play in typical not 'special' settings.
- HPS, Helping People Succeed, Inc. became and remains our name in 2004 as we recognized the diversity of our programs and services that are offered to a variety of populations throughout Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee counties.
- A strong emphasis on programs for families with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) became our focus beginning in 2013 with the recognition that services were severely limited for these families. Beginning with an afterschool for elementary, middle and high school students with ASD, we are hoping to expand to provide the Comprehensive Autism Diagnostic and Assessment Services as well as wrap-around services so that those with autism can become healthy, well-educated, productive citizens.
- In the past few years, we have focused on building a strong donor base in our Foundation area. Through hosting events, social media and public relations, we have been able to raise dollars to meet and assist operational costs resulting from decreases in funding from legislative sources. We encourage staff, donors, board members and the community to share our message with family, friends, communities in which they live; to connect with us on Facebook; and to become familiar with the organization’s website. We are proud to have produced our first video in 2015 – “Making a Difference”.
- Since we have relocated to our new home, we find our focus on expanding and improving the current programs and services that we offer. Also, we taking a strategic look at the future with our increased ability to broaden our programs, services and initiatives such as The Language & Literacy Connection. We are tailoring our messaging to meet the current community needs; and continuing to stabilize the organization with the best interests of the people we serve and the staff in the forefront.
The thread that runs throughout the organization’s history and current operating is Helping People Succeed. We have a strong board of directors who help the organization move forward strategically. Funding is also provided through a number of federal, state and local funds as well as the generosity of the community through donations and volunteer time.
Helping People Succeed has flourished since our inception. We are quite proud of our successes -we contribute not only to the quality of life for the people we serve; but also, we contribute to the diversity and economic viability of our community.
We look forward to continuing to help build successful families and futures one life at a time. We invite you to join us!