History - Access Services

Why Access?

Our History

In 1976, a group of Christian social workers in Pennsylvania were frustrated by the gaps in services provided for individuals with mental health challenges and developmental disabilities in their community. They formed Access Services to develop innovative ways to meet some of these needs.

The first community homes opened in Montgomery County in 1978 to accommodate individuals released from Pennhurst State Center and other large mental health facilities. Six years later, Access Services was asked to operate ten group homes in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

"We always wanted Access Services to be a light in our communities and a refuge for those in need. A place that will change lives for the better. Access Services is and will be making a significant difference in our communities and the world."
rob reid-2021
Rob Reid
Retired President & CEO

Over 40 years of service.

A timeline of our history.

1976

A group of Christian social workers look to develop an organization to address gaps in services.

1978

Access Services’ first group home is opened for individuals moving out of Pennhurst State Institution.

1988

Housing for adults with disabilities are offered through Family Living / Lifesharing services.

1992

In-Home Supports becomes available for families who have children with disabilities.

1993

Respite services are started for children and adults with special needs as a support to caregivers.

1994

Therapeutic Foster Care begins providing homes to children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral concerns.

1995

Counseling and therapeutic services are offered for children and adolescents through Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services.

1998

Adults with developmental disabilities start connecting to community opportunities through the Life Community Day Program.

1999

Outpatient Mental Health Services are introduced to families facing mental health challenges.

1999

Intensive Home Counseling for adolescents in the juvenile justice system is initiated in the Schuylkill region.

2000

Adults with mental illness begin receiving support through the Starting Point program.

2003

Tutoring is offered through the Intensive In-Home Counseling Program.

2003

A chaplain position is created and spiritual care services are integrated to enrich personalized care.

2004

Telephone and in-person crisis support is started to support families and children.

2006

Youth Outdoor Expedition hosts its first camping trip for teens facing substance abuse and truancy.

2010

The Teen Talk Line is created to offer peer support to adolescents.

2010

Debut of the Bucks County LIFE Program connects families of children with behavioral health concerns to resources and direct support.

2010

Starting Point expands to include residential services for adults with serious mental illness in the Lehigh Valley.

2013

The TIP Program begins, allowing young adults to find jobs, gain mentorship and create life goals.

2013

Debut of the Peer Support Talk Line begins providing a listening ear to adults in Montgomery County.

2013

Mobile and telephone crisis support is offered to adults in crisis in Montgomery County.

2014

The Chesco LIFE Program opens to support children and families.

2016

Justice Related Services is launched for adults with serious mental illness and a criminal history.

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