Independence Center was founded by families and friends of persons with mental illness in Lake County. We began accepting Members in 1989 following a two-year fundraising and planning initiative. With a $60,000 grant for the facility and $165,000 for programming, doors opened to 11 Members supported by three paid staff and a 15-member Board of Directors.
Independence Center underwent its first remodel in 1990 to accommodate a licensed professional kitchen in its lower level.
In 1991, Independence Center founded its vocational program with funding awarded from by the Department of Rehab Services. Recognizing the lack of reliable public transportation and increasing need for transportation assistance, Independence Center obtained its first IDOT funded vehicle for transportation services in 1992.
In 1998, Independence Center received funding through Connect 98 Grant to allow for development of the PSR program, in addition to a Drop In Center program that allowed for Saturday or Sunday hours at the existing Clubhouse facility. While the Drop In Center was discontinued when funding was converted to fee-for-service, which did not allow for such a program, PSR has since remained active and successful
Independence Center established is first supported housing complex in 1999 through the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA). The Eliza T. Davies building was constructed from the ground up and accommodated 19 residents. Since then, Independence Center has expanded its housing program with a mixture of funding from IHDA and the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), the latter of which began funding in 2002.
A second remodel in 2003 allowed redevelopment of the upper level to include office space and restrooms.
In 2008, Independence Center received its first IT Grant, allowing the transition to online tracking of data with use of an organizational server and staff computers for more efficient use of time and management.
Independence Center has made great strides over the last 3 decades, and we could not have done it without the support and generosity of the community and donors.
Thank you for all you've done, and please CLICK HERE to learn about the future we foresee and how you can help. Together, we can eliminate the stigma of mental illness and provide the option of independence for everyone.