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History

Founded by John DiMarco, our journey began over 40 years ago as a dream of many who had a shared vision of an inclusive community, offering every member— regardless of their abilities—equal opportunities to lead self-directed lives.

 

Incorporated as a nonprofit in 1981, West Bay supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the State of Rhode Island. West Bay acquired its first home in Cranston, RI and shortly thereafter; opened the first medical pediatric group home in Rhode Island.  This residence has welcomed national and international visitors. Within a year, we expanded and opened three additional homes.

 

Since our organization’s inception, West Bay has grown tremendously. In 1986, our permanent headquarters was established in Warwick. In 1989, West Bay developed an alternative to the traditional workshop setting. This new model received widespread support and was soon replicated throughout the state. West Bay successfully challenged "the status quo” to recognize the difference in the needs of individuals with chronic and stable conditions, and those requiring skilled nursing care. By the early 1990’s West Bay was operating 13 homes, as well as one semi-independent living apartment, and had established a comprehensive option for Day Supports. In 1993, West Bay partnered with the State of Rhode Island in the closing of its primary institution Ladd School.

 

West Bay has grown to become a multi-scale agency that promotes inclusion, supports individuals in their pursuit of their dreams and nurtures the incredible gifts they have.

We believe in creating a culture where all members feel welcomed and valued for their individual contributions, along with an exemplary team of professionals who personify our core values. West Bay is dedicated to fulfilling our mission, which is the undercurrent of all we do.