Empowering people with disabilities, and their families, is the mission of The Arc of Livingston. The nonprofit is celebrating its 60th year of providing family support and advocacy.
Patti Nowak, director of The Arc, has held her position for the last eight years. She was formerly the director of the Arc of Central Michigan in Mt. Pleasant. As the parent of a child with chronic health and learning needs, Patti says, "I am passionate about making changes in the community in which we live and making a difference in the lives of people with disabilities."
The Arc was initially founded to help people with developmental disabilities become a part of the community, she explained. "Parents didn't want to put disabled children in institutions, but needed help keeping them at home."
The Arc is an informational clearinghouse for questions related to developmental disabilities. The four staff members have children with disabilities and work to provide resources which allow people to get the services they're entitled to.
"It's taken many years of working with other agencies to get to this point,” Patti said. We provide services including transportation, education and employment to accommodate the needs of people
Word of mouth has helped The Arc of Livingston reach more people in the county during Patti’s eight year tenure.
"When I started, we worked with 250 families a year," she said. "Last year we worked with more than 1,000 families. We wouldn't be here if the community wasn't supportive and didn't want to include people with disabilities."
Patti says the most important work that The Arc of Livingston does is "to support and advocate for families and connect them with the resources they need to be a part of the community and to have the best quality of life."
The Arc of Livingston, 1044 Durant Dr., Suite 1, Howell. Call 517-546-1228
or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.