Together, they began holding classes in churches and other community facilities. Not only did group home participants come, but individuals who were home-bound began attending.
Peggy and Arlene began to dream even more for the persons they served and loved so much. They saw the need to provide higher quality programs and events and diversify settings,
allowing for those with disabilities to participate in the community like everyone else.
With a $20,000 personal loan from Arlene, 1 desk, 1 computer, in a spare bedroom, with an ironing board used to collate flyers that served as an office PACC was formed. A few other brave individuals were willing to work without pay, and formed the vision of PA Connecting Communities (PACC). The organization launched in 2004 as a 501(c)3 grassroots, non-profit organization. Within 30 days Peggy and Arlene were proudly able to pay their staff. By the end of the year, they had a budget of $250,000, and Arlene was subsequently reimbursed for her generous loan.
Following the first year, Penny Bayer joined the organization. With her artistic and creative style, she assisted Arlene in developing the North Hills programs. Because of the staff’s dedicated efforts PACC now offers many more day, evening and weekend programs to serve the disability community.
As we head into the 15th year of operation, PACC has grown to reach over 3,000 individuals with 1000 programs, events, classes and services throughout the year. Currently, we provide services to the intellectually disabled, those with autism, and those with a variety of developmental disabilities, as well as returning vets with special needs. PACC currently serves a five county region including Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington and Westmoreland counties. PACC has grown to offer employment programs, behavioral services, occupational therapy, home and community services along with transitional programs for youth.