Our History

  • 1954The Glendale Association for the Retarded Children was founded by Phyllis & Jerry Campbell as a pre-school program for children with developmental disabilities like their daughter Janice. Sessions were held at North Glendale Methodist Church. At the time, children with developmental disabilities were not admitted into public schools. The program started with a handful of children and one class, but grew to five classes as more parents learned of the program and enrolled their children.
Phyllis Campbell holding hands with toddler daughter Janice smiling holding other hand with her dad Jerry Campbell in black and white photo.
  • 1963Through 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.
  • 1967As 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.
  • 1974The 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.
  • 1975The Association purchased property on West Glenoaks Boulevard for a new workshop location. Enrollment increased to eighteen workers.
  • 1984In 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.
  • Hamilton House in 85
  • 1985In 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.
  • 1987An off-site work program was started at Fidelity Federal Savings.
  • 1988The 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.
  • 1989In 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.
  • 1991In May, the second home — Alma House — opened, providing a home for another 6 developmentally disabled adults.
  • 1993The Association received a grant from the City of Glendale, the Weingart Foundation, and the California Community Foundation.
  • 1994Combined, the two homes – Alma House and Hamilton House – provided permanent residential care for 16 adults. At the Self-Aid Workshop, 53 adults received services. Thirty percent of these disabled adults were Armenian immigrants from Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, Iran and Iraq.
  • 1995Grants 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.
  • 1997In 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.
  • 1999In April, the third home — David Gogian House — was opened, providing a home for another 6 developmentally disabled adults.
  • 2001The 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, served as the club’s sponsor.
  • 2002Pastimes program started for older adults to spend half day in the workshop and half day in community integration.
  • 2003Self-Aid Workshop name changed to GAR Services.
  • 2004The Association celebrated its 50th year anniversary.
  • 2008GAR Services changed their logo to reflect a more updated look for the organization.
outside of building
  • 2010GAR Services Clients numbered 72 adults. Forty four percent were Armenian immigrants from Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, and Iraq.
  • 2012GAR Services was 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.
  • 2013The Association received a perfect score for a three-year accreditation by the Commission of Accreditation of Rehabilitations Facilities (CARF). This was a distinction received by very few organizations.
  • 2014The organization marked its 60th Anniversary. Rebranded again to befit the times. The name it chose was The Campbell Center (TCC) in honor of the Founders’ daughter, Janice, the reason for starting the organization in 1954. Throughout its 6 decades, TCC grew from its modest start serving a handful of Clients to serving more than 110 Clients.

Lifetime Achievement Award!

The Campbell Center Honors Phyllis and Jerry with Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • 2016TCC received another 3-year accreditation by CARF, the second consecutive time to be so recognized. The number of Clients served increased to 135. TCC began plans for transitioning the work activity program into community-based activities and “employment first” services for people with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities (I/DD).
  • 2018The Art Academy started as a pilot program to provide an option for integrated services through life enriching art-based experiences, events and gallery shows; to discover upcoming artist, maximize their talents and support self-employment as an outcome; and to provide a creative environment to promote personal growth and community integration. TCC hosted two successful Gallery Exhibitions & Art Sales where the clients’ (since referred to as Associates) artwork was presented to the community. Over 130 guests attended the first evening exhibit on March 10, 2018, where the work of more than 34 Academy artists was displayed and sold. The San Luis Obispo Museum of Art (SLOMA) selected a TCC Art Academy artist to display a piece of artwork at their Home Sweet Home exhibition, to represent a breaking down barriers concept and promote diverse visual art experiences for people of all backgrounds, including those with disabilities.
  • TCC Associate working as a cashier at a fast food restaurant serving a customer.
  • 2019In June, an amendment to TCC Pastimes Program was vendored and approved for funding by Regional Center to extend community integrated services to adults with I/DD of all ages. This program was in response to the growing demand of community integration for adults with I/DD. It encouraged participants to engage in mainstream educational activities in a community setting. Associates participating in the program could receive community integration support for activities such as dance, fitness, nutrition, volunteer work, and community events such as the theatre, bowling, bingo, and arts and crafts. On July 31st, all Work Activity Program clients were transitioned into community integrated activities or community employment. On August 1st, The Work Activity Program officially closed, and it transitioned to Fulfillment Services, a business for The Campbell Center. Four former Clients were hired as part-time employees and one client as a full-time employee. This marked the end of subminimum wage at TCC. Also, in August, TCC received its third consecutive 3-year accreditation by CARF, demonstrating ongoing quality of services.
  • virtual video call
  • 2020In March the COVID-19 global pandemic forced all TCC programming and services to be given remotely. TCC staff transitioned to offering online classes and activities for Associates. New technology and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) had to be purchased by TCC to keep programming going and the residents at three homes safe and connected to loved ones. The Community Integration team developed a Digital Playbook to help Associates learn to be safe online as they were spending more time than ever on the web. The Supported Employment Program helped Associates job search, research and apply to jobs online. Supporters of TCC donated and helped collect PPE and other needed supplies, even delivering Tommy's fast food to residents at the three homes and taking part in virtual events to keep Associates from feeling isolated. TCC got through this challenging time with the help of its community.
  • 2021TCC adjusted to "the new normal" and continued to help Associates remotely with online classes. It worked with the organization Muralism, to paint a mural on the outside of the building to advertise their services to the community.
  • Founder Jerry Campbell unviels new mural at The Campbell Center.
  • 2022TCC transitioned to in-person programming in the spring and the office has remained open since then. Hybrid services were needed as some Associates were excited to return to in-person services, while others took time to feel comfortable going back to being around more people. It was a time of new challenges for Associates, their families and staff to help them return. Tailored Day services grew out of the need to offer programming specific to each Associate in the Community Integration program and allow them to get the attention and time to do the activities they wanted in the way that best suited their needs. All TCC staff became trained in Person Centered Planning to better serve Associates no matter what department they were in. In June the mural was finished and the ribbon to unveil it was cut by founder, Jerry Campbell at an open house event. That September, a benefit for TCC was hosted at the Glen Arden Club. TCC received another 3-year accreditation by CARF, the fourth consecutive time to be so recognized.
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