The History of the Arc of Michigan

The Arc of Midland is a nonprofit organization which promotes the general welfare of people with developmental disabilities and increases their presence, participation and inclusion in the community.

1950-01-01 00:00:00

The US Arc is Formed

Parent groups throughout the country meet in Minneapolis, MN in 1950 to organize The Arc. - The Arc becomes the first organization to put money into research on intellectual and developmental disabilities.

1952-01-01 00:00:00

Midland Arc is Formed

1952 – Parents and Friend of Retarded Children (now called The Arc of Midland) formed. Board elected on November 2, 1952 Lois Entenman – President Mrs. Jacob Thiel – Vice President Mrs H.W. Morgan – Treasurer Mrs. Norman Hall – Recording secretary Mrs. Fred Hartman – Corresponding secretary Herman Entenman – Publicity Elvin Kosht – Program chairman Other members –Mr. and Mrs. Merle Mashue, Mr. and Mrs. David Reece, Mr. and Mrs. Earl Morris, Mr. and Mrs. Glen Richmond, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Allen

1952-02-01 00:00:00

The Arc of Midland Formed

In 1952, the Arc was formed by Midland parents as a response to the lack of educational opportunities available to those with special needs. Members of Arc opened up the first school for children with special needs using funding from United Way. At that time, the mothers of these children operated the school, hired teachers, and even made lunches in the cafeteria.”

1953-09-02 00:00:00

Paterson school opens

Fall 1953 – Paterson school opens. Teacher/Mothers are the first teachers. The school was opened with the help of Mrs. Myrtis Mcdonald (probate judge), Robert Kingsley (Midland public schools), Joseph McPherson (psychologist at Dow Chemical), Dr. Audrey Snider and Sadie Wolf (Midland Health department). Nine students are enrolled the first year. Community fund gave $2000 to operate the school.

1956-02-01 00:00:00

Reece Foundation Begins

Origins David and Florence Reece were longtime residents of Midland County. they had three children: Nancy, Sandra, and William. William was born with Down Syndrome and according to doctors, would be disabled for life. The Reece family soon discovered there were very few resources to help with their son's care, so along with other parents of disabled children, founded the Midland Association of Retarded Children (MARC). Its mission was to promote programs for children with mental retardation. David Reece died in 1956 and his memorials were contributed to MARC, which established the David Reece Fund. Over the years, as that fund grew, it eventually became the seed for the current Reece Community Living Endeavor. Today, the Reece children continue to actively support the mission of the Reece Endeavor. Reece Endeavor The Reece Community Living Endeavor, established in 1957 and located in Midland, Michigan, is committed to helping individuals with a range of disabilities live in decent, affordable housing. The Reece Endeavor currently owns more than 30 homes throughout Midland County. First Home Purchased The original David Reece Fund, now almost 50 years old, had a humble beginning, with $1130 left in memory of David L. Reece. His family and friends worked diligently on fundraising over the next 16 years, until in 1973 when the Reece Fund was able to purchase its first home on West Carpenter. The home remains in use today. Transitions After several years of experience with purchasing homes for disabled residents, or those individuals transferring out of group or family homes, the Reece Fund was faced with a new request. In 1989, Tim Bartlett, a young man with developmental disabilities, his family and his Circle of Friends facilitated through the Arc of Midland, requested the Reece Fund purchase a home for Tim. The Fund would, in turn, rent the home to Tim. The concept was that Tim would share the home with two people who would help with the rent and become housemates for Tim. Tim would receive assistance from a staff, hired and paid for by the Department of Social Services and Community Mental Health. While this was a different concept from what the Reece Fund Board of Directors was accustomed to, it quickly became apparent that the value of permanency for Tim and his acceptance in the community, made this an exceptional model for future activities. Success was immediately evident. Many other Midland families chose to follow in Tim's footsteps, forming circles of support for their children with disabilities. they were looking for permanency in their children's living situations, which drove the need for Midland's Supported Community Living model. Utilization of this concept has dramatically increased in the ensuing years, and the mission of the Reece Fund was changed to: Provide and maintain affordable housing and to explore housing opportunities for the support of individuals with disabilities in Midland County. In 1997 the Fund, which began with the Reece family's search for permanency for William, became known as The Reece Community Living Endeavor. Funding The Reece Endeavor is supported through foundation grants, Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), Federal Housing programs, Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), individual contributions, memorials, endowments and fundraising activities, including our Annual Garden Walk. What the Program Offers The Reece Endeavor is committed to helping individuals with disabilities live in decent, affordable housing. It does not "place" individuals in homes. Instead, individuals along with their support system of family, friends and professionals join in a decision-making process to best match people with available homes. While the homes are owned by The Reece Endeavor, maintenance responsibilities are shared with the tenant. Individuals interested in participating with the Endeavor program must: Have a disability which requires intervention Receive support services from another agency to ensure success in the community. Be willing to abide by a rental agreement Have a desire to live in a a house. Please contact the Reece Community Living Endeavor with any questions about the Endeavor or about local agencies providing assistance to people with disabilities.

1956-11-02 00:00:00

Reece Donation to Arc

November 1956 – Mrs. David Reece presents check in memory of her husband, one of the founding members of The Arc to the president of the Arc board (Mrs. Jacob Thiel)

1957-02-01 00:00:00

David Reece Fund Begins

February 1957 – Arc board approved constitution of David Reece Fund. The fund will be charged with bettering facilities for children with developmental disabilities. Incorporated as a non-profit. First board includes: Mrs. Morgan Davis, E. W. Bradley, Homer Wyse, Elmer Kohtz.

1958-02-01 00:00:00

Early Arc Activities

February 1958 – Lt. Briggs from the Midland Police department met with the membership to address how the police and parents can work together to insure the safety of children with disabilities. February 1958 – membership dues $2 Organizations that helped provide funding for The Arc include: Zoe club, Rose Ann Club, Rotary Club, Kiwanis, Young Business People’s group, Windover PTA, Wrights (a local business), Studley Grange, Jaycee club, Les Beaux Arts Dance studio.

1959-02-01 00:00:00

1959 Arc Activities

Spring 1959 – Civitans learn of The Arc and pledge help to the school. J.B. Arnold Joins The Arc and is elected president of David Reece Fund. In 1950’s the membership increased membership, held numerous educational sessions, ran the Paterson School and established the David Reece Fund.

1960-02-01 00:00:00

The Arc in the 1960's

1960s: A Decade of Progress in Policy & Prevention - The Arc opens a Governmental Affairs Office in Washington, D.C.

The History of the Arc of Michigan

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