JOIN US IN CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF COMPASSION, COMMITMENT AND COMMUNITY!
We have seen such incredible growth in our agency throughout these 50 years. We owe that to all of our incredible residents, staff and community! THANK YOU!
We will be celebrating P2P’s 50th Anniversary throughout the year. Be on the lookout for lots of great stories, the background of our agency and inspiring moments from our past!
Let’s go all the way back to the beginning…
Pathway to Possible, formerly known as the Newton Wellesley Weston Committee for Community Living, partnered with Wellesley Village Church in 2000 to open their first home for adults with developmental disabilities in the town of Wellesley, the Paul T. Babson Jubilee House, with congregational financial and volunteer support.
Their history began with a group of concerned parents who were committed to ending institutionalization in 1972. These parents wanted their adult children to transition to a comfortable home with caring support after moving out of their childhood home.
Despite protests and petitions against their plans, the committee was able to transform a nursing home to a residence now known as “Juniper House”. A news article from the time, states that “a hand vote [of the audience] showed 18 of those present favored the plan, while 12 were opposed.” It was a close victory for Newton and the disability community! The home was one of 50 being established statewide under the auspices of the state Department of Mental Health as part of a program in an effort to halve the number of residents in institutions.
Eight individuals, from Wrentham State Hospital, ranging in age from early-30s to mid-40s, moved in to Juniper House. A news article from the time mentioned, “Their individual progress in adapting to community living after long years in institutions has been rated ‘astonishing’ by medical observers.” In a few short years, initial distrust of these new neighbors has been replaced by genuine liking and respect. They entered new jobs, became beloved regulars of the Centre Street shopping area, regularly attended Sunday Service at the Eliot Church of Newton, and became adored friends by surrounding neighbors.
The opening of Juniper House was a significant milestone in the advocacy of individuals with cognitive and developmental disabilities. The subsequent shift in the mentality of surrounding community members has remained positive from the 70s until the present day. Our residents not only feel welcomed and liked by the Newton and Wellesley communities but they are supported through monetary and item donations, as well as friendship.
Stay tuned for more stories about how Pathway to Possible became the agency it is today!