Creative Support (CS) is a private, non-profit corporation which began in 1979. CS was developed by a group of special education teachers who were concerned that there were relatively few options available to people with disabilities once they left the school system. Through a grant offered by the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) they developed an Independent Living Skills (ILS) apartment training program. These dedicated teachers volunteered their time as members of the Board of Directors and provided much of the services when the program began and remained involved in various capacities for many years.
The original, “grass roots” program was designed to serve a maximum of six adults and operated out of four cottages in South Central Los Angeles. Once clients developed their skills, they graduated and were provided assistance with finding their own apartments in communities of their choice. Despite the intensive training provided, most clients were not able to live completely independently. Thus, a new service was developed to provide follow up support. This service became the service of choice and within 10 years, it was used exclusively and the apartment training program model was disbanded.
In 1991, there was a dramatic shift in the philosophy regarding service provision. There was a strong impetus to offer more individualized services to people with severe challenges – thus “Supported Living” was born. This was a very exciting time because many people who desired to live in their own homes were previously denied the opportunity simply because of the amount of support they would require. Creative Support became one of the first service providers in the State of California to provide this new, innovative service. Since its inception, the desire for Supported Living has increased dramatically and it continues to be in high demand. We developed other specialized services over the years to meet the needs of our clientele and our services continue to be in high demand; we serve clients in both Los Angeles and Orange counties and work with six regional centers (Westside Regional Center; Regional Center of Orange County; Lanterman Regional Center; South Central Los Angeles Regional Center; Harbor Regional Center; and East Los Angeles Regional Center).
We are no longer a “grass roots” organization, but we remember and embrace our humble beginning because it gave us strength and vision. Despite our growth, we have not lost our sight of our purpose of serving individuals and Creative Support is considered one of the most flexible and person-centered agencies. We have received awards and recognition from various regional centers and local legislators; we are very proud of and thankful for this recognition and we believe our success is due to our dedication and hard work, our concentration on the needs and preferences of the individuals we serve and by remaining focused on our mission.
The Board of Directors as well as dedicated community members and staff built Creative Support into an organization with a reputation for excellence. The people behind CS stand for integrity, attention to detail, self-assurance coupled with hard work, a determination to remain at the forefront, and a dedication to provide useful services. CS promotes the philosophy of providing people with disabilities the opportunity and the means to live their lives utilizing the least restrictive alternatives. To promote this philosophy, CS has successfully provided services so that individuals receiving them are able to live life styles similar to those who are not disabled, have control over their homes, receive support consistent with their needs and preferences, make informed choices, receive services in natural and appropriate settings, and benefit from the services regardless of the nature or severity of their challenges.
Each person served by Creative Support is unique with individualized experiences, abilities, preferences and goals. In order to better serve our clients, we offer a variety of services similar in nature but varying in focus. The choice is up to the individual.
Creative Supports’ mission is to provide needed and valued services to people with developmental disabilities in Southern California. To accomplish this, we will:
Who We Serve
Creative Support staff is extremely knowledgeable and experienced with supporting adults and children with a wide range of disabilities, including intellectual disabilities (various levels of functioning), epilepsy, cerebral palsy, autism, hearing impairment, visual impairment, physical challenges, traumatic brain injury, and mental illness (dual diagnosis). CS has also successfully supported people with disabilities who have children, who have a history of chemical dependency/substance abuse, behavioral challenges, and who have a criminal history.
Creative Support offers a variety of services to help people with disabilities live in their own homes in the community of their choice and to lead more active and fulfilling lives. CS offers the following services: