Our History

History of Adult Resources Center, Inc.


In the early 1940s in Brooklyn, NY, seven young families received the devastating news that their two or three year old toddlers were developmentally disabled—although that was not the term then. In those years, doctors advised all parents to institutionalize their mentally retarded children. While most patents did that, these seven mothers and fathers ignored the advice of doctors.

Instead, they loved, nurtured, and helped their children learn and grow beyond those doctors’ predictions. They found the minimal resources that were available to assist them and their children. But, when the children reached 16 and 17 years of age, the parents realized no more help was available.

Over the years, these parents had come to know each other. And in 1955 they joined forces to create the ARC or Adult Retardates Center, and received a charter from New York State. The organization grew to encompass pioneering programs in socialization, education, travel, and occupational training.

In 1974, after substantial financial and societal struggles, the organization opened its first group home in Brooklyn, New York. Four more homes followed over the next decades.

Eventually the stigmatizing words “Mentally Retarded” were changed to the more accurate “Developmentally Disabled.” And the organization changed its name to Adult Resources Center, as it is officially known today.

Our Future


But today ARC stands for more than the initials of Adult Resources Center.
ARC represents the words that guide us as we help developmentally disabled adults lead a dignified, safe, and cherished life. Our guiding words are: Affirm. Respect. Connect.

  • We Affirm the right of developmentally disabled adults to reach their full potential.
  • We Respect their right to a fulfilling life without fear of discrimination or isolation.
  • We Connect them to the services they need in the communities where they live.


Today ARC does more, and reaches more families. We continue to grow and adapt as we deliver personalized, skilled, and loving support to our consumers and their families. ARC now includes five homes, Prevocational Services, Day Habilitation Services, Recreation and Leisure Services.

Assisting developmentally disabled adults in living a dignified life in a safe and loving environment is the Adult Resources Center, Inc.’s very special mission.