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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


The Chesco LIFE Program opens to support children and families.


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


Therapeutic and general Foster Care expands in the Lehigh Valley region, serving 171 children agency-wide.


Street Outreach Program is formed in partnership with Your Way Home, supplying the homeless population with their basic needs.


The Intersect initiative begins supporting those standing at the ‘intersection’ of faith and mental health.


ALTEC Services formally affiliates with Access Services, bringing innovative employment services.


Respite care expands to Northampton County.


Starting Point expands to Bucks County, bringing mobile psychiatric rehabilitation supports to adults with chronic mental illness.


Altec Employment Program joins a Regional Collaboration for Provider Transformation towards enhancing their services.


Access Learning Academy is developed to bring education to students with unique educational, emotional and social needs.


Our Housing & Homeless division is formed to combat the housing crisis throughout Montgomery County.

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