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Historical Review

 

In the early 1970’s, parents in the Tri-City area of Madison, Granite City, and Venice who had adult children who were developmentally and physically challenged expressed a need for a day program that would keep their adult children involved and active in the community.

 

In 1973, the parents, joined by volunteers from surrounding communities, formed a nonprofit organization named OATH, Inc. (Organization for the Advancement of The Handicapped).  With funding received from the Madison County Community Mental Health Board and a small loan, OATH, Inc. purchased a large, older building located at 612 State Street in Madison, IL.  Funding for building materials to renovate the structure was donated by local businesses and social organizations.  With generous contributions of time, labor, and important skills, parents, individuals from the community, and apprentices from local union halls completed the building renovations.

 

In 1979, OATH, Inc. began to receive an annual grant from the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities to further fund OATH’s work program.

 

In 1981, with an additional small loan, the parents purchased a second building adjacent to the property at 612 State Street.  Volunteers from the community constructed an extension to the building and converted it into an industrial laundry.  The local brick layers union donated material and labor to brick the building.  Equipment for the laundry and a truck to transport goods was purchased with donations from the McDonnell Douglas Employees’ Community Fund and American Legion Post #307.

 

In the spring of 1995, the family of Jack Friedman donated land between the original building and the laundry facility.  Hamm construction donated labor and equipment to clear and level the area so it could be used as a parking lot.  Another local company donated the rock needed to cover the parking lot surface.

 

In June 1997, OATH, Inc. changed its name to New Opportunities, Inc. in order to enhance and preserve the organization’s unique bonds and programs, as well as advance the original mission and purpose.  During this year, the programs and services offered by New Opportunities, Inc. also achieved two year accreditation status by The Council for quality and excellence of service. 

 

In May 2003, New Opportunities’ programs and services achieved three year accreditation status from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), which is the highest honor awarded by CARF.

 

In March 2005, New Opportunities moved into a new 1.2 million dollar (15,800 square  ft.) facility located in the River’s Edge complex in Granite City, IL and expanded its programs to include Developmental Training services. 

 

In May 2010, New Opportunities began to receive its annual accreditation status from the Illinois Department of Human Services. 

 




Page Last Updated: Apr 27, 2010 (12:34:39)
 
 
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