The Power of Parents
The Arc has been servicing the Quad Cities since 1952, founded by a group of parents who wanted their children’s rights recognized and their independence encouraged. Since that time, The Arc has grown in size and scope to become a leading advocate and comprehensive service provider for individuals with disabilities. The Arc is proud of the accomplishments it has made to expand opportunities available to individuals with disabilities in the Quad Cities Area.
The Arc of the Quad Cities Area is an important element in the developmental disability service delivery system that the Quad Cities community relies on every day. The Arc provides services that improve the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Arc is committed to providing the highest quality care and services that benefit the entire Quad City community.
The Arc is an important resource in our region and an integral part of many families’ experiences for generations. Our services are far-reaching and are geared toward expanding opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to achieve greater independence in their everyday lives.
Changing With the Times
Words matter. Over time, as the words ‘retardation’ and ‘retarded’ became pejorative, derogatory, and demeaning in usage, the organization evolved its terminology to reflect the desires of people with disabilities, and changed its name to ‘The Arc’. While the term still appears occasionally, it has largely been replaced and usage of ‘intellectual disability’ and ‘developmental disability’ continues to spread.
We are doing everything in our power to make sure they’re adopted more broadly and strongly believe the only ‘r-word’ that should be used when referring to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is respect.
Our rich history leading to successful outcomes would not be possible without the significant number of dedicated parents, family members, volunteers, staff, Quad City community members, and other advocates from all over the nation who share our vision.
The Arc of the Quad Cities Area
Our story begins as The Association for Retarded Citizens of Rock Island County
A group of parents with moderately intellectually disabled children employed a teacher to hold classes on her porch and paid for it themselves.
Parents continued to advocate for school services…Illinois State board of Education offered a program.
When the children finished school, they returned home. The parents founded a sheltered workshop in an abandoned fire station.
A different group of parents who had children with severe/profound intellectual disabilities were also advocating within the school system for their children to be enrolled. They formed a school program and conducted classes in church basements.
Parent groups merged.
A capital fund drive was begun to raise the 30 % match required by the federal government. This money was used to build the Opportunity Center in Moline.
Opportunity Center opened.
An apartment building was purchased and refurbished to house 21 mild/moderate intellectually disabled individuals.
Note: The Arc no longer operates this apartment complex.
A local packaging business invited 8 individuals and 1 staff member to use space and provide janitorial needs. By 1978 it had grown to 25 individuals and 4 staff.
Application was made to become one of the 5 sites in Illinois designated to build a “Specialized Living Center” for 64 persons with severe/profound intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The facility, Heritage 53, was opened and the agency grew over 100%.
The Arc’s work program called Opportunity Center Industries (OCI) in the packaging facility had grown to 75 individuals and 10 staff. The owner needed the space; therefore a new facility was required for the agency’s sheltered worksite. A warehouse with 20,000 square feet was rented in Milan’s Industrial Park for the program.
Galesburg Mental Health Center initiated downsizing of their facility in preparation to close the institution. Individuals residing there began moving into community placements. The Arc established two 8-bed “Community Residential Alternative” (CRA) group homes (Hartzell House – now 1245 and McKee House – now 1571).
Home Individualized Placements (HIP homes) were opened in 5 locations (Meadowlawn, Westlawn, Hale House, Miller, and Riverpark). This program served adults and children.
Respite was initiated as a service program and provided in-home services to families.
The Arc purchased a new administration building at 4016 9th Street, Rock Island.
JPT (Job Placement Training) was established.
Dove Foundation was registered as a not-for-profit entity. The $25,000 seed money has grown to total assets equaling over a million dollars. In 1997 the name was changed to the Wilber L. Burress Endowment and more than $562,510 has been awarded back through grants since 2000.
The Arc established a cooperative working agreement with the Department of Rehabilitation Services. The program now called Community Employment Services (CES) provides supported employment services.
All HIP homes converted to 3 CRA group homes (2930, 2401, Schroeder). Children were no longer served at residential sites.
The Arc received a CILA (Community Integrated Living Arrangement) grant to provide service to 10 individuals in family or intermittent settings.
An 8-bed ICF/DD (Hewitt House) opens and a 16-bed ICF/DD (9th Street Place) opens in 1993.
An individual receiving services from The Arc joins the Board of Directors. Other Individuals participate on Board Committees.
The Arc buys a warehouse in Rock Island and OCI moved to this location which has 62,000 square feet of production space.
Department of Human Services begins conversion payment method from CRAs to individualized funding through CILA.
A group of Individuals is formed and called “Speak-Out.” The group concentrates on public speaking and self-advocacy.
The Birth-to-Three program is closed in August due to insufficient funding from the State.
The agency adopts The Arc of Rock Island County as its name, rather than the Association for Retarded Citizens of Rock Island County.
OC Industries changes its name to Arc Industries to align itself with The Arc’s new logo.
The Arc celebrated 50 years of service to the community.
“Arts at The Arc” is formed for Individuals. The program comprises music, music therapy, fine arts, literature, and visiting artists.
Heritage 53 downsized one building by 8 individuals which brings the total residents down to 56.
In November 2004, 12th Street CILA opened.
Heritage is downsized again by 8 individuals to a 48-bed facility
In May 2005, 38th Avenue CILA opened.
Respite program moves to a vacated Heritage 53 building in November.
October 9, the Arc Business Supply Store opens on Arsenal Island.
26th Avenue is purchased to divide 9th Street into 2 CILAs.
March 4 – 26th Street opens and 9th Street Place officially is split into 2 CILAs.
Opening of LaSalle House on September 26 – individuals from 2401 move into their new home.
Autism Room at Opportunity Center opens on January 27.
Verschoore CILA opens June 29.
Rick CILA opened July 21.
2401 CILA opened at Friendship Manor July 31 (28th moved into 2401)
Schroeder CILA reopens August 13
Heritage Fifty-Three licensure as an ICFDD is surrendered to the Department of Public Health
4601 53rd Street, Unit 1 and Unit 2 opened October 1
8th Street CILA opens on January 8, 4601 53rd Street Unit 1 closes
3rd Avenue CILA opens on January 25, 4601 53rd Street Unit 2 closes
Heritage Fifty-Three physical plant officially closes January 25
2930 reopens as a licensed 4-bed 24-hour CILA with a front/back duplex April 3, 2019
7th Street opens as an 8-bed licensed 24-hour CILA on October 18, 2019.
Purchase of new property with existing home to be renovated at Brittany Lane, Rock Island.
The Arc opens a new home on 37th Avenue.
The Arc serves over 325 Individuals and has 370 employees and maintains a budget of 15.2 million dollars.