The Arkadelphia Human Development Center (AHDC) opened its doors on October 7, 1968 as a residential program designed for children. The Center was the first facility of its kind in Arkansas to achieve national accreditation in 1974. AHDC is currently accredited by the Accreditation Rehabilitation Commission, known as CARF.
The current capacity of the facility is 134 residents. Both respite services and short term placements are offered to assist people in transitioning back into the community as soon as possible. AHDC provides placements to people age 18 and over that have graduated from high school or have a certificate of completion from public school. The focus of the facility is on transitional placement and vocational training to prepare people to return to their own homes or into supervised living situations, through the Medicaid Waiver program and partnerships with community providers. In 2003 the Center partnered with Rainbow of Challenges, a community provider, to enable four residents to purchase their own homes in Caddo Valley. All four chose to invite another person to share their home, so a total of eight people moved from the facility to new homes. As some have relocated, other people have taken the opportunity to purchase or share local homes, with proper supports. This was followed by a second cooperative project between the Center and Rainbow of Challenges to create a business “Rainbow Junction” in Caddo Valley. The original focus of Rainbow Junction was to produce and sell crafts and other products made by people in programs for the developmentally disabled around the State. As economic factors impacted sales, Rainbow Junction began to subcontract work from the Clark County Recycling Center (CCRC), a growing business on the AHDC campus.
CCRC was opened as a pilot project with the support of the Center’s private non-profit organization the Volunteer Council. CCRC offers recycling services to businesses, schools, universities and other State agencies in the area. The business was established in 2009 to provide jobs for Center residents, recycling cardboard, paper and plastics. Products are sorted, baled and sold generating revenue for continued expansion of CCRC and diverting tons of material from local landfills. The Center opened a second business in January 2011 through a contract with the Department of Parks and Tourism, compiling and mailing Arkansas tourism packets. These job opportunities are in addition to the Center lawn crew that has a contract with the Arkadelphia Public Schools and other individual jobs provided by local businesses.
The Arkadelphia Human Development Center has become a vital part of the community through the support of local civic groups, the Chamber of Commerce, and an assertive approach to community integration. Through these efforts AHDC pursues its mission to enable the people that we serve to continuously advance the quality and independence of their lives.