STRATFORD, Conn — KenCrest officially opened its Connecticut headquarters in Stratford on Friday, bringing its service and leadership a little closer to the people with intellectual and developmental disabilities it serves across the state.
The 112-year-old Lutheran-affiliated nonprofit operates 12 homes in Connecticut, including three in Stratford.
“”This is a little closer to our residences,” said President and CEO Marian Baldini. “It’s a good fit.”
Started in Pennsylvania to help those with tuberculosis in 1905, KenCrest now serves about 11,500 in Pennsylvania, Delaware and, since 2009, Connecticut, said Agency Director William Cramer. It had run its state services out of a Bridgeport church, but it had grown too big and required new setting, he said.
KenCrest has a long and storied history of serving people with care and compassion. In 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt presented the organization with a Silver Medal Award.
Its current mission is to ensure that people who, or are at risk of having, intellectual disabilities and autism can live well in their communities, earn the respect of others and control their own lives.
“We have control over our lives,” Cramer said. “A lot of times people we support didn’t have those opportunities for choice.”
With the state's current fiscal woes, having a resource such as KenCrest in Stratford is a positive development, said state Rep. Laura Hoydick, who attended the grand opening.
"They are extremely economical," she said.
In addition to Stratford, KenCrest has homes in Bridgeport, Waterbury, Cheshire and East Haven. The organization also provides early learning centers, vocational and therapy services, respite services and day support throughout the state.
For more information, visit www.kencrest.org .