Our History

It was a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens that laid the groundwork for what eventually became Community Involvement Programs.

In the late 1960’s, Associate Pastor Tom Zemek from Westminister Presbyterian Church attended a meeting of the The Arc. By chance, another member of the congregation, Peggy Tillett, was also at the meeting. At this meeting they learned about the needs of a number of adults with developmental disabilities in their community.

Some adults had moved back home from the state institutions to be with family, but were in need of support to be a part of their community. Other people who had been living with family for many years were anxious to start a life of their own. What was needed was a supportive, supervised environment where people could learn independent living skills while living in their own apartment.  The Apartment Training Program, which opened in 1971, was the first initiative of Community Involvement Programs.

Thoughtful citizens have continued to provide the catalyst for change since Community Involvement Programs was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 1971. Today, we offer a variety of services and supports to individuals with intellectual disabilities and people living with mental illness who live in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro and areas of Pine County, MN. Although the organization has grown dramatically in the years since, we remain committed to listening to the needs of our community.