HISTORYFairhaven Programs have served Trumbull County's residents with mental retardation and developmental disabilities for more than 50 years.
In 1952, the first training class for 12 children with mental retardation was opened in Warren. A second class was added at Jefferson School in Niles to accommodate more students.
In 1954, a group of parents, teachers and psychologists organized the Trumbull County Council for Mentally Retarded Children, Inc., a non-profit, non-political, non-sectarian organization dedicated to helping children with mental retardation. The Council, later to become the Association for Retarded Citizens, was solely supported by donations and money derived from fundraising projects. A survey of the county was made and free psychological testing clinics were offered to parents in order to locate children in need of special services.
By 1955, the public was aroused by the knowledge that many children with mental handicaps were barred from any type of training due to lack of facilities. Financial support from individuals and organizations enabled the Council to establish and maintain the first state-approved class at Roosevelt School in Hubbard and a kindergarten class at First Methodist Church of Warren. A second kindergarten class was added at the First Presbyterian Church in Girard in 1958, and same year saw the opening of the first sheltered workshop, for adults over 18 years of age with disabilities, at the Liberty Township Fire Station.
In 1960, The Trumbull County Council for Mentally Retarded Children, Inc. purchased its first building, located in Girard, to house its offices and the sheltered workshop. The McDonald Board of Education accepted the fourth state-approved class. Also this year, the Howland and Girard kindergartens were approved by the State Department of Mental Hygiene and Correction, representing an increase of four state-approved classes in eight years and covering a service range for those from 3½ to 18+ years.
The Trumbull County Child Welfare Board had initial responsibility for administering the training program for children with mental retardation, without having any funds for this purpose. State legislation mandated that the Child Welfare Board appoint an Advisory Council on Mental Retardation at the county level to advise the board on the progress and development of a positive program for children with mental retardation.
Through the efforts of the Trumbull County Council for Mentally Retarded Children, Inc., the first .4-mill tax levy for children with mental retardation was presented on the November 1961 election ballot. The passage of this levy gave the Child Welfare Board the means to construct and operate a school for children with mental retardation.
In 1962, Trumbull County Commissioners accepted a donated 5-acre parcel of land for the building of the Fairhaven School, and Louis Majick was appointed as the director of the training program for children with mental retardation.
In 1963, Fairhaven School was built and the first 11 classes began. An additional 10 classrooms were constructed in 1964, with six being ready for the ’64-65 school year and the other four ready in September of 1965. A third addition, totaling 24,250 square feet, was added in 1968.
In 1967, the Trumbull County Board of Mental Retardation became the governing Board for facilities for persons with disabilities. Fairhaven Industries was established to provide employment opportunities for people with disabilities and to offer affordable contract labor services to area businesses.
The Niles Sheltered Workshop was opened in 1970 and the Champion Workshop opened in 1979. The North Road Workshop and Board Office was opened in 1997, the same year that the Fairhaven Foundation, a non-profit organization, was established to support the mission of Fairhaven.
Today, the Fairhaven Program offers services to more than 1,000 individuals with mental retardation and developmental disabilities in Trumbull County. Programs and Services include: Early Intervention, Pre-School, School Age, School-to-Work Transition, Adult Services (Fairhaven Industries), Community Employment, Senior Retirement, Service and Support Administration (Case Management), Transportation, Residential, and Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapies.
The board, leadership, and employees of the Trumbull County Board of Developmental Disabilities are steadfast in maintaining and creating programs and services that meet the unique needs of individuals and their families.