In the fall of 2006, Larry Deal (current Executive Director), Erin Graff (former Assistant Director) and Ron Spence (current Operations Director) created the initial concept for Independence Northwest, including mission and structure. Soon thereafter, we formed a board of directors and applied for 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. Our initial board of directors was comprised of Larry Deal (former Director of Mentor Oregon Brokerage), Rita Beckett (self-advocate) and Martha Stracener-Dantzic (former Executive Director of Inclusion Inc. Brokerage.).
In December 2006, we formally incorporated as Northwest Community Connections Inc. Shortly after incorporation, (once we realized our name was, well, just a tad too long) we chose the assumed business name of Independence Northwest, under which we now operate.
At the beginning of 2007, the State of Oregon Department of Human Services released a competitive RFP (request for proposal) for two Support Services Brokerages. We applied along with several other entities and were awarded the contract in April of 2007.
We opened our doors in July of 2007 and entered our very first customers into services in October 2007. Over the next eighteen months, we went from 0 to 450 customers and added hundreds of new providers to our area’s resource base. Our team was rounded out by our Office Manager (Beri Swango), Community Resources Director (Maggie Kral) and ten Personal Agents.
Today, we serve 508 individuals with developmental disabilities across the tri-county region (budget cuts throughout the state reduced contracts and we lost a small number in capacity as a result.)
Independence Northwest has developed a strong reputation in the brokerage community with a focus on independence, personal responsibility, education and advocacy. We take our responsibility as stewards of public funds seriously and provide cost-effective, results-oriented services for our community.
Independence Northwest collaborates with adults with developmental disabilities to foster self-determination, independence, and community membership.