Since our beginning in 1985, Independent Living, Inc. has grown from serving 18 clients in two group homes to serving more than 85 clients in a variety of settings. Originally named Boone County Independent Living, Inc. (BCIL), the founding board of directors was created by and mostly composed of parents of local children with disabilities.
Founding board member Dr. Lowell Williams recalled that BCIL was created because these parents got information about other out-of-town group home programs and wanted something similar here. Ken Reeves, BCIL’s attorney when the agency began, said “Many of the first residents in the BCIL homes were clients of the workshop at Boone County Special Services (BCSS), and the group homes were built near BCSS so clients didn't have too far to travel from the workshop to home."
He went on, "Some clients had families, while others did not, and some clients outlive their parents and needed someone to take care of them. The group homes provided alternative homes for these people.” Mr. Reeves drew up Articles of Incorporation, and government funding was obtained.
Founding board member Rita Williams remembers planning the group homes. She was on the decorating committee and selected the colors for the homes and helped pick out the furniture. She remembers planting flowers in the backyard. Williams said, “I remember the open houses, and the excitement and pride that not only the workers and residents felt, but also the community.” Today, we continue to take great pride in our group homes.
Today, we continue to take great pride in our group homes. Current Chief Executive Officer Korin Westcott says, “Our group homes continue to serve a vital need in this community, giving 18 residents a very comfortable and pleasant place to live. We are grateful that the vision of the founding board was realized, and that the quality of the homes has endured.”
Our Administrative Office began in the basement of a local business, but as the agency grew, so did our need for larger accommodations. Today we are located at 206 S. Cherry St. in Harrison along with our Day Services Program (iLearn) and our GREENspace. We are licensed to provide services in six counties: Baxter, Boone, Carroll, Marion, Madison, and Newton.