In October of 2007, the Port Alberni Association for Community Living celebrated the 50th anniversary of its incorporation as a society.
The first programs started by PAACL were a pre-school, Arrowsmith House - a large group home on Argyle Street, and Arrowsmith Services - a sheltered workshop that would provide day program opportunities for adults.
In the 1980s, the large institutions in BC were closed. People from these institutions came to Port Alberni and we opened several group homes
In 1979, The Learning Place Pre-School was opened. By 1995, thinking had changed, and the Learning Place Pre-school closed and children now went to regular day care centers with support from PAACL.
In 1988, the Community Employment Program started. In 1992 Arrowsmith Services split into two day programs (Arrowsmith Services and Community Options). Choices Day Program began in 1994.
By 1999, residents of 5th Avenue and Huff Drive had moved to individually supported living situations in the community.
In 2004, the Pathways Program was created to offer support to people on a more informal basis.
In 2005, a new group home was built in the Westporte area to provide a home for the residents of the Glenside and Russell homes, which were closed
Also in 2005, PAACL received a three-year accreditation for a number of its programs from CARF
The 50th anniversary of the Association was celebrated with a Charity Art Auction and the launching of the Port Alberni ACL Foundation.
PAACL purchased a new building. Community Choices, Arrowsmith Services, and Community Options Day Programs move to the new location and become the Connections Day Program. The new program offers more space, more choice and more opportunities for participants in the programs
PAACL also re-opened Huff Drive Residence. The new Residential resource can provide housing for four individuals in the community
PAACL was successful in obtaining another 3 year accreditation for it's programs, including the new Connections program
In 2009 PAACL focused on partnerships. Partnerships were developed withinthe community, on Vancouver Island, and across the province. The first Family Fun Fair celebrating Community Living Month was co-hosted by the City of Port Alberni, the Citizen's Advocacy Society, Community Living BC and PAACL.
This was also the first year of a partnership with the Alberni Valley Times in which we now publish the "PAACL News", a monthly full-page newsletter highlighting the work we do in the Alberni Valley and on the West Coast.
Our self-advocate group also formed partnerships across the Island, joining with people in Powell River and Courtenay to successfully be awarded a $5,000 grant from the British Columbia Association for Community Living. This grant will help our advocates to strengthen the self advocacy network on the island, organize training opportunities and make positive changes in the community.
PAACL was successful in receiving its third 3 year accreditation.
The Association launched two new programs: Personalized Supports Initiatives (PSI), and Home Sharing:
The PSI program provides an individualized and personalized approach to meeting the needs of eligible adults by coordinating existing community supports to help people with FASD or ASD maintain or increase their independence.
Homesharing is a residential option in which an adult with a developmental disability shares a home with someone who is contracted to provide ongoing support.