EARC was founded in 1969 with the mission to provide a better quality of life and encourage greater independence to individuals with developmental disabilities. EARC originally focused on increasing public awareness and providing education on disability issues, but it was obvious that the agency could do so much more. EARC programs now provide housing, job training, employment and other crucial services.
The first Thrift Store was opened in 1970, not only to raise funds but as an opportunity for employment for EARC clients. It still thrives today as a favorite place to shop and a convenient location to donate goods. In 1980, an additional Thrift Store was opened in Guthrie.
Helping to provide residential homes for clients was an immediate goal for EARC. Group homes were opened in 1982 and 1985 to house six residents each and provide education in independent living such as housekeeping, hygiene and budgeting. EARC also began offering in-home support services, placing a habilitation trainer each week in an individual or family’s home. EARC opened its own intermediate care facility in 1989 for adults with more severe disabilities. The Nova Centre is home to 16 residents with 24-hour care and training.
In 1986, EARC opened The Trails Sheltered Workshop. This facility offers individuals the opportunity to learn work skills through subcontracted jobs and receive a paycheck. EARC established community integrated employment opportunities in 1989 through The Trails. This service provided individual assistance in securing and maintaining employment in the community.
By the 1990’s, a work Enclave of four was traveling from The Trails to Guthrie each weekday to be employed alongside non-disabled workers in our thrift store.
In May 2006, EARC opened another Thrift Store in Edmond on 15th Street and added a donation processing center at the original Thrift Store as a new work Enclave.
Most recently, EARC opened four Daily Living Support homes that also provide continuous staff services for individuals who require 24-hour supervision.