The Glendale Association for the Retarded Children was founded by Phyllis & Jerry Campbell as a pre-school program for children with developmental disabilities.  Sessions were held at North Glendale Methodist Church.  The program started with a handful of children and one class, growing to five classes as more parents learned of the program and enrolled their children.


Through advocacy by the Campbells and a mandate of the Lanterman Act, the Glendale Unified School District expanded its curriculum to serve the needs of students with mental retardation, ages 6 to 21, and assumed responsibility for their education.


As the children grew older, the Association started the Self-Aid Workshop to provide them and other adults with developmental disabilities the opportunity to learn vocational skills through sub-contract work such as packaging, small assembly, bulk mailings, etc.  Workers were paid by piece rate.  The program also included an adult living skills component, taught by instructors from Glendale Community College.  Emphasis was on academics, as well as social and emotional development. Enrollment at that time was eight workers.


The Association changed its name to the Glendale Association for the Retarded to reflect services for adults, while not excluding children should a need for youth programs be identified.


The Association purchased property on West Glenoaks Boulevard for a new workshop location. Enrollment increased to eighteen workers.


In May, the Association received a block grant through the City of Glendale to establish the City’s first non-profit group home to accommodate 10 adults.  This was the first new program undertaken by the Association since establishing the workshop in 1967.


In June, the organization’s first residential home — Hamilton House — located on west Glenoaks Boulevard opened.  The workshop leased an additional 2500 square feet of work space at 1540 West Glenoaks to accommodate increases in contracts and client referrals.  Enrollment increased to 44.  Concurrently, an off-site work program was developed at Descanso Gardens and the Glendale YWCA.  That year, the Association was selected as Organization of the Year by the Glendale Chamber of Commerce.


An off-site work program was started at Fidelity Federal Savings.


The Association purchased a building and moved the workshop and association headquarters to 6512 San Fernando Road, its current location.  The new location offered 8,000 square feet with improved production space, classrooms, speech therapy room, offices and break area.  That year, the Glendale Foundation for the Retarded was established for the purpose of raising funds to support the mission of the organization.  Soon, annual fundraising events follow, including Derby Day, Bowl-A-Thon, among others.


In November, the Association received a $450,000 grant to establish a second group home.  The monies received were from the City of Glendale Area Redevelopment Funds.


In May, the second home — Alma House — opened, providing a home for six developmentally disabled adults.


The Association received a grant from the City of Glendale, the Weingart Foundation, and the California Community Foundation.


Combined, the two homes – Alma House and Hamilton House – provide permanent residential care for 16 adults.  At the Self-Aid Workshop, 53 adults receive services.  Thirty percent of these disabled adults are Armenian immigrants from Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, Iran and Iraq.


Grants were received from Wells Fargo Bank and Parsons Foundations to start a Job Development/Job Placement Project to develop individual jobs and enclaves for workshop clients in community work settings.  This program allowed the workshop to expand the variety of opportunities and choices available to better meet client needs and preferences.   A Multi-Cultural Program designed for the specific needs of non-English speaking, immigrant clients was started.


In August, the Association received approval from the City of Glendale for a $498,000 HUD loan to purchase and renovate a third group home on Alma Street.


In April, the third home — David Gogian House — was opened, providing a home for six developmentally disabled adults.


The first Aktion Club west of the Rockies was chartered in Glendale.  An AKTION Club is a community-service group composed of adults with developmental disabilities.  The Glendale Kiwanis Club, composed of leading business and professionals from the Glendale community, serves as the club’s sponsor.


Pastimes program started for older adults to spend half day in the workshop and half day in community integration.


Self-Aid Workshop name changed to GAR Services.


The Association celebrates its 50th year anniversary.


GAR Services changed their logo to reflect a more updated look for the organization.


GAR Services Clients number 72 adults.  Forty four percent are Armenian immigrants from Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, and Iraq.


GAR Services is vendored and approved for funding by the Regional Center and Department of Rehabilitation to offer Employment Services through Direct Placement/Employment Services and Group & Individual Supported Employment Services.


The Association receives a perfect score for a three-year accreditation by the Commission of Accreditation of Rehabilitations Facilities (CARF).  This is a distinction received by very few organizations.


Organization marks its 60th Anniversary.  Rebrands again to befit the times.  The name it choses is The Campbell Center in honor of the Founders’ daughter, Janice, the impetus for launching the organization in 1954.  Throughout its six decades, organization grows from its modest start with 1 program to currently 6 programs and from serving a handful of Clients to serving more than 110 Clients.


Organization receives another 3-year accreditation by CARF, the second consecutive time to be so recognized.  Number of Clients served increases to 135.  Organization begins plans for the gradual evolution of the work activity program into a community-based integrated activities and “employment first” services.  Completion of transition is slated for the first quarter 2019.


The Association holds membership in the California Disability Services Association (CDSA) and is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). Permits are held from the U.S. Department of Labor and the California Department of Industrial Relations.  The Campbell Center receives funding from the State of California, Department of Developmental Services.  The group homes are licensed by the State of California, Department of Social Services, Division of Community Care Licensing, and funded by the Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center and North Los Angeles Regional Center.

For further information regarding The Campbell Center, contact Claudia Sandoval, at 818.242.2434 or email at claudia@thecampbell.org.