We see the whole person and focus on competence and capacity. We specialize in finding the unexpected in people.
We create options based on each person’s unique needs and preferences and promote their independence and success.
We learn together with the people we support and engage all of our partners: parents, staff and the people we serve to discover what works.
We find solutions. We solve problems and overcome barriers.
We respond to the changing needs of individuals, families and the community.
We foster outcome-based teams, collaborate and celebrate accomplishments.
We maintain supportive environments and maintain and renew them to exceed licensing requirements and State regulations.
We maximize resources, embrace the challenges of creative fundraising and exercise stewardship for a positive future.
We serve people who are developmentally disabled and have other challenging social and emotional issues. Many of the individuals we serve have autism, others are multi-handicapped and have limited mobility; others also have hearing or vision losses. Most of the people we serve take medications daily and many others receive daily medical support for seizure disorders, diabetes, or behavioral impairments. People with developmentally disabilities typically make up 1-2% of the general population across all geographic areas.
Horizons was founded in 1979 emerging out of a major social movement focused on human rights for people with developmental disabilities. During an era when many people with disabilities lived in large dehumanizing institutions or were kept apart from the mainstream of life in school and communities, sisters Chris and Kathleen McNaboe, who were both special education teachers at the time, believed passionately in the capacity of their students and knew they just wanted the same things out of life most others take for granted. At that time, others in the Human Service profession were skeptical and questioned their vision. But they pushed on and cultivated partnerships, learned from experts, took risks and inspired others. So with the help of many talented people who shared their passion, Chris and Kathleen created a non-profit organization and opened a summer program for 45 children and adults with developmental disabilities at a rented facility.
Chris and Kathleen then went on to dream bigger, envisioning a permanent property as a hub for year-round, community-based opportunities. Parents, who believed in the mission of Horizons, formed a limited partnership to enable the purchase of the current Horizons property in 1985. This allowed Horizons to do much more. Horizons was then approached to create homes for people who wanted to move from Connecticut’s institutions or from their aging parents’ homes. And parents reported they desperately needed respite throughout the year so “Weekends in the Country” was created. Requests poured in and Horizons responded by developing Educational Support Services Supported Employment and Options, and a wide variety of Supported Living opportunities. Now years later, so much has changed, yet the heart and soul of Horizons remains the same. The focus on each person’s unique gifts, preferences and capacity is the essence of Horizons.
The Horizons Board of Directors gets to know the people we support in many ways. They volunteer on Intake Days to meet campers/families and host pre-board meeting dinners on a regular basis.
Attitude is another important aspect of our person-centered philosophy which ensures that each person supported, their family and other stakeholders have an active voice. Barbara McGrath, the aunt of Margo M., captured the Horizons attitude nicely when she said, “What you do is not just providing services. It’s making a life for people. You all take Margo for who she is and enjoy her for who she is.”
Accomplishments This Past Year
1. Developed new Supported Living opportunities for 24 individuals.
2. Implemented new transition and support options for twenty-two individuals and completed the construction of the New Employment and Education Center.
3. Secured gifts and pledges to match the $650,000 Milne Family Challenge Grant to support the Horizons Commons Project.
Goals for the Current Year
1. Move physically from a Camp to a Campus. Create a positive, inviting face to the Babcock Hill Road properties. Complete the Horizons Commons Project to lend greater coherence and elegance to the public and camp zones.
2. Enhance the appeal of our website. Expand the use of social media.
3. Advance our Board of Directors. Recruit innovative members. Create Audit and HR/Compensation Committees.
4. Attract new donors. Engage in constituency development and education. Connect constituency development to fundraising efforts.
5. Take advantage of ways to increase revenue and tap into alternative sources of revenue. Engage in mission based growth.
6. Create more effective internal tracking systems and maximize use of the capacities in Time Force, Blackbaud and Camp Brain. Look ahead and devote resources to the development of customized systems.
Need 1: Horizons’ most pressing need is to reach the Horizons Commons fundraising goal of $2,400,000 to begin construction of the Horizons Commons building in September 2013. To date we have a total of $1,792,481 in cash, pledges and grant awards.
Need 2: We continually work to recruit, hire and train staff who demonstrate a passion for and the skills to implement our mission.
Need 3: Our current contracts and agreements with the State of Connecticut Department of Developmental Services are in continuous states of negotiation and refinement as the current State budget climate and allocation systems do not recognize the true costs of providing person-centered services and supports. Securing alternative sources of funding and support are an on-going need.
Horizons embraces a unique person-centered approach with the people we support and with our staff. All of the details matter. We craft opportunities that address each person’s unique needs and learning potential. We serve people who have been kicked out of other programs or denied services due to their unique and challenging circumstances. Our positive design and engagement strategies provide individuals with life-transforming experiences. There is no one else in Connecticut that does what we do.
Our entire organization embraces a ‘person-centered” philosophy that shapes all that we do from our direct support staff, to the cooks at summer camp and the people who work in our business office. The mission of Horizons guides us to see each person as competent and capable regardless of the extent of their disability. Since many of the people we serve have limited language skills or rely on alternative means of communication such a sign language, gestures and pictures, we use all methods possible to discover what is important to each person and learn how we can enhance and improve their quality of life.
At Horizons, we continually engage the person we support, their parents, family members and other stakeholders in planning, creating and evaluating our work together with a focus on positive outcomes. This fosters each person having anactive role in program decision making and shaping policy at Horizons.
We have a reputation for getting behind people who have encountered many challenges along the way or were considered problematic to other organizations. We facilitate life-changing opportunities by using our positive, person-centered approach. This approach is also well grounded in effective teaching and behavioral support strategies. In just the past year alone nine people moved into new homes and, buoyed by Horizons Supported Living, are experiencing more success, independence and joy than anyone previously thought was possible.
And these successes happen because as Jean E., parent of Tom E., once said “Everyone puts their heads together to troubleshoot through the rough spots.” And by getting to know each person’s passions, Horizons is instrumental in helping achieve dreams.
supports nearly 1,700 people annually. Everyone is in
the spotlight. Horizons Staff consider people not programs. Each
person’s goals become our goals and we work together to make them happen. We
are mindful of how important it is to ensure that everyone stays in the
spotlight. This is what makes Horizons so different.
Horizons Supported Living enables individuals to live the life they want to live in apartments, group homes, etc., in area towns. Each person’s routine compliments their preferences and capacities and fosters relationships with friends, family and community.
Each person supported by Horizons in their home, apartment or condo
participates in the creation of tailored living routines that complement their
preferences and capacities and build relationships with friends, family and the
Via Horizons Supported Living, the people we support are afforded the opportunity to live the life they want to live.
The success of Horizons Supported Living is monitored by the person’s Individual Planning Team. The team is comprised of the person supported, family members, Case Managers from the Department of Developmental Services, Horizons Supported Living staff members and any other stakeholders. Each person and their team meet annually to develop personal goals and the related activities that will assist the person to meet their goals. Progress towards each person’s goals is assessed and reported quarterly.
In the past 20 months, the Horizons Supported Living team has developed new living opportunities for eight individuals. Currently twenty-four individuals are supported where they live. Miguel was not doing well before coming to Horizons due to his very challenging behavior. Miguel now enjoys cooking on the outside grill at his home, taking long walks in the country and helping around the house with the support of a highly effective, person-centered team of staff members. Nicole had a history of problems in the community before coming to Horizons. She is now quite proud of the fact that she is able to be at the helm of the riding lawn mower to keep the lawn at her new home in Windham looking lovely and has a busy calendar of social events.
Horizons supports nearly 1,700 people annually. Everyone is in the spotlight. Horizons Staff consider people not programs. Each person’s goals become our goals and we work together to make them happen. We are mindful of how important it is to ensure that everyone stays in the spotlight. This is what makes Horizons so different.
Horizons Educational Support Services affords students in local public schools with opportunities to maximize their transition plan and realize dreams for the future. School teams collaborate to generate positive protocols. Support Counselors engage students with challenging behaviors to experience success.
Area public schools contract with Horizons Educational Support Services to support students in Transition from High School to the life after high school. We support students to develop employment skills using the community as a classroom. Students are engaged in internships based on personal interests and capacity or they move immediately into work with our support.
Education opens doors. Horizons Educational Support Services help students maximize their transition plan and realize their dreams for future success.
The success of Horizons Educational Support Services is monitored by an Individual Education Planning Team. The team is comprised of the student, their family members, teachers and other staff from their school, the members from the Horizons Educational Support Services team and any other stakeholders. Each person and their team meet annually to develop educational and transition goals and the related activities that will assist the person to meet their goals. Progress towards each student’s goals is assessed and reported quarterly.
Currently, Horizons Educational Support Services supports twenty-eight students. Students are afforded a seamless transition from high-school to life after high school because we contract with both the schools and the Department of Developmental Services and the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services. We partner with teachers and families to identify and use effective intervention strategies with students who have considerable difficulty in school due to challenging behaviors. These features are what makes Horizons Educational Support Services truly unique.
Horizons Supported Employment and Options assists people to find jobs that match their talents and interests. Job Coaches support workers to experience success and job satisfaction. Options connects students transitioning from high school to employment or to creative combinations of community-based routines designed to meet unique needs and preferences. Options also delivers tailor-made opportunities for adults growing older and adults with physical or multiple disabilities.
Horizons Supported Employment and Options connects students who are transitioning from high school to employment as well as delivering tailor-made opportunities for adults who are growing older and for adults who have multiple disabilities.
Rewarding work fills more than just hours. Horizons Supported Employment and Options assists people to find jobs that match both their talents and interests.
The success of Horizons Supported Employment and Options is monitored by an Individual Planning Team. Each person’s team is comprised of the person supported, family members, Case Managers from the Department of Developmental Services, Horizons Staff Members and any other stakeholders. Each person and their team meet annually to develop personal goals and the related activities that will assist the person to meet their goals. Progress towards each person’s goals is assessed and reported quarterly.
Currently, Horizons Supported Employment and Options supports 128 people. We support workers at jobs at UCONN, Home Depot, Prides Farm Nursery, The US Coast Guard Academy, Eastern Connecticut State University, Papa Ginos Pizza, Mystic Aquarium, Walmart, Stop and Shop. Little Lights Day Care, ArtSpace Windham, Manchester Memorial Hospital to name a few, which is a vivid testimony of program success.
Horizons Summer Camp is offered eight weeks each summer. Campers and Counselors bunk together in comfortable cabins. Engaging, well-trained instructors inspire campers to learn in new and different ways during horseback riding, swimming, boating, arts and crafts, fitness, drama, pioneering, music, camp crafts, P.E., language arts, movement and dance.
Summer camp provides campers with many opportunities for success on a daily basis. In addition, parents and other family members truly appreciate and benefit from this very valuable respite, a brief interval of rest, from the responsibility of caring for their adult child with a developmental disability. In turn their son or daughter enjoy their time away from home, filled with friends and new and interesting opportunities.
Since 1979, Horizons Summer Camp has been a breath of fresh air for campers and their families. Offered for eight weeks each summer, our camp enables campers to explore horseback riding, swimming, boating, arts and crafts, fitness, drama, pioneering, music, language arts and dance with the help of engaging, well-trained counselors and instructors.
There are many was that the success of summer camp is monitored. Camper and parent feedback is gleaned from a web-based survey conducted at the end of each summer camp session. Camper engagement is another powerful example of program success. The high rate of returning campers and staff as well as the amount and frequency of donations to our annual Campaign for Campers, are all positive indicators of program success.
Over 700 campers enjoyed summer camp 2012 and a similar number have registered for summer camp 2013. Here is what one parent had to say: “I am the parent of a twenty-five year old son with autism who attends Horizons in the summer for camp. Every time our family has driven onto the Horizons property in the past eight years, we have been grateful for the presence and passion of the counselors and staff, as well as the quality programs provided for people with disabilities.
To hear the cheers of the counselors and staff as my adult child arrives at camp is an incredible joy for my son and an affirmation for me as a parent. These cheers say, ‘Come on in. We welcome you!’ When else does my child with special needs have an entire community rooting for him in a society where people with disabilities are often treated with fear and suspicion? Besides my son’s family and close friends, the times are few and far between. Every community needs an organization like Horizons.”
Horizons Weekends in the Country run from October to May. Campers enjoy action-packed weekends filled with fun and friendship. Each weekend centers around an exciting theme developed by a creative team in touch with people with disabilities and what is in vogue.
Weekends in the Country provide campers with many opportunities for success during active engaging weekends. In addition, parents and other family members truly appreciate and benefit from this very valuable respite, a brief interval of rest, from the responsibility of caring for their adult child with a developmental disability. In turn, their son or daughter enjoys their time away from home, filled with friends and new and interesting opportunities. Horizons is the only place in Connecticut where this type of weekend respite is offered.
Horizons Weekends in the Country are offered from September to May. Each weekend is action-packed and filled with fun and friendship. Special weekend themes are developed by a creative leadership team. Campers look forward to the weekend offerings each year and register for their favorites far in advance.
There are many ways that the success of a season of “Weekends in the Country” camp is monitored. Camper and parent feedback is gleaned from a web-based survey conducted at the end of each season. Camper engagement is another powerful example of program success. The high rate of returning campers and staff as well as the amount and frequency of donations to our annual Campaign for Campers, are all positive indicators of program success.
853 weekend respite opportunities were provided to families during the 2012-2013 “Weekends in the Country” season. Families benefited from much needed respite. Horizons received considerable grant support to support this Weekend in the Country season from five different foundations: the American Savings Foundation, The Swindells Charitable Trust, the William and Alice Mortensen Foundation, the Dime Bank Foundation and the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut. This is a powerful example of success.
Horizons was born in the late 70’s, emerging out of a major social movement focused on human rights for people with developmental disabilities. We demonstrated ongoing leadership in the field of Human Services, blazing the trail since the early days of deinstitutionalization & the Mansfield Training School Consent Decree in 1980’s. Our colleagues at Connecticut Department of Developmental Services rely on Horizons to demonstrate how to develop & provide person-centered, cost-effective opportunities for people, even the most difficult to serve, in unique proactive positive ways. We create options based upon each person's unique needs & preferences & to promote independence & success. We solve problems & overcome barriers. We maximize resources, embrace challenges of creative fundraising & exercise stewardship focused on a positive future.
Our Board of Directors includes community leaders engaged with our staff, participants, parents & partners in a hands-on fashion. Board Chairperson, Adam Milne, was recognized in the 2013 “Connecticut Magazine” as one of Generation Next’s superstars.Horizons is in the midst of a massive renewal & repositioning project due to his leadership. He has rallied agency staff at critical junctures throughout the year, met & talked to summer campers & their family on opening days during the summer, set up a personal Horizons e-mail account to field questions & comments from family members, staff & community members, met with potential donors & grant agency representatives, & initiated annual Horizons Galas in partnership with the Mystic Aquarium. Adam speaks from his heart when he talks about each person with disabilities having their own unique & elegant light. Adam shares his time & talent in a multitude of ways, inspiring the staff of Horizons to leave behind old ideas about charity, & dream big knowing the elegance & worth of what they do every day.
All Board Members contribute to the sustainability of Horizons & factor into the vision of our future & our long-term strategic plan. They assist with cultivating donors & resources & influence others to do the same. Board members Dr. Elsa Nunez, President of Eastern Connecticut State University & Dr. Stephen Coan, President & Chief Executive officer of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., which operates Mystic Aquarium, Institute for Exploration & Immersion Learning, inspire staff by sharing their time & talents & ensure personally that individuals with disabilities served by Horizons are afforded supported employment job opportunities within their organizations.
We carry out our mission in unique proactive positive ways. We create options to meet each person’s unique needs and preferences and promote their independence and success.
We learn together with the people we support and engage all of our partners: parents, staff and the people we serve, to discover what works. We find solutions. We solve problems and overcome barriers. We maximize resources, embrace the challenges of creative fundraising and exercise stewardship focused on a positive future.
We are sought out due to our reputation for team building and positive programming. We serve individuals who have been "kicked out" or denied services elsewhere because of their challenging behavioral concerns or unusual medical conditions. Yet we specialize in finding the unexpected in people.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
The difference of $715, should it be realized, and will be carried over to the next fiscal year.
This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Financial information is inputted by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
A strong economy begins with a community that supports its people. When you support workforce training, financial literacy and public transportation, you enable individuals and families to work where they live, increasing their chances of economic success.
Educate a child and you change a community. For the child, a good education means better career opportunities and higher lifetime earnings. College graduates enjoy better health and are more inclined to volunteer and vote. For the community, supporting our youths’ educational goals results in a stronger society.
A healthy community is a rich community. When we enjoy good health, when we engage in wellness activities – and when we support people living with disease or disabilities -- there are profound physical and psychological benefits. Simply put, we are all stronger and happier. To support the health and wellness initiatives in your community is to put good health within reach of all.
70 Audubon Street
New Haven, CT 06150
(203) 777-2386 giveGreater@cfgnh.org
© 2015 The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. All Rights Reserved. Contact | Terms & Conditions | Privacy