The story of Mills Community Support Corporation (formerly known as Almonte Community Development Corporation) has its roots in the mid 1970’s when “Almonte Community Builders” was established. Individuals from the community who had been striving to build affordable housing for low-income families formed this group. The close collaboration between the Almonte Community Builders and the town council resulted in a successful application to the Ontario government for a neighbourhood Improvement grant to service an available tract of land, and funding from CMHC for construction of affordable housing.
Prior to the start of construction, the group decided to incorporate itself as the Almonte Community Development Corporation Inc. (ACDC) on December 9th, 1975. With it’s own charter, ACDC proceeded with the construction of twelve family units on Norton Street. This first project was completed in 1978 and named the Gail Thomson Residences in honour of one of the founding members of ACDC.
Mills Community Support continues to respond to community needs through its Home Support , Property & Housing, Community Development and Special Support Services programs.
Milestones through the 1980’s
- 1981: The organization opened “Parkside Residence”, a group home for people with developmental disabilities housed in the old convent on Bridge Street in Almonte.
- 1983: Construction of the Town & Country Apartments (Phase I) was completed. The five-storey structure contained 50 new apartments for seniors.
- 1988: ACDC took on management of the Almonte/Ramsay & District Home Support program that provided many services for seniors and handicapped individuals.
- 1989: Mijiwam Residence construction was completed providing a group home for individuals with multiple handicaps.
- 1989: Construction of the Maude Street Townhouses was also completed providing 14 affordable family housing units.
Milestones through the 1990’s
- 1990: The Family Relief Program at Mijiwam began.
- 1992: St. James complex construction was completed, providing 32 more affordable housing single-occupancy and family units.
- 1992: Parkside Residence was relocated to our St. James Housing complex aiming for more independent living for individuals with developmental disabilities.
- 1999: ACDC renovated a house on the 12th Concession of Ramsay Township to provide a home for individuals moving out of Rideau Regional Centre.
Milestones from 2000 to present
In preparing for the new millennium, the Corporation decided to change the name of the organization to reflect the amalgamation of Almonte, Pakenham and Ramsay townships into what is now known as Mississippi Mills, as well as, to recognize one of its founding members and past Chairperson Stanley Mills. As the year 2000 came around, the organization was now known as Mills Community Support Corporation.
- 2000: The Corporation moved into office quarters in the Old Town Hall of Almonte.
- 2001: A new Apartment Respite Program began for families of children with varied disabilities.
- 2000: A Rent Supplement Program (partnered with Lanark County Mental Health Services) was started that encouraged private housing to become rent-subsidized living accommodations for people with mental Illness.
- 2003: The organization began its first HomeShare program in which a staff person is hired full-time to live with a person with developmental disabilities who is not particularly well suited to group living environments.
- 2003: The new “Gus the Bus” was purchased for the Home Support Program to help provide wheelchair accessible transportation for medical appointments and social outings.
- 2005: Became an active participant in the Transitional Aged Youth Initiative, which supports individuals moving out of the children’s welfare system into the Developmental Services Sector, once reaching the age of 18.
- 2006: Through the Facility Initiative, Mills Community Support successfully transitioned individuals from the Rideau Regional institution into group living arrangements in a new group home in Smiths Falls.
- 2007: Further facility transitioning requirements led to the construction of a new intervention home in Almonte for deaf/blind individuals.
- 2008: The office moved to a brand new facility (as shown in the photo at the top of this page) and shortly thereafter, appointed a new CEO, Michael Coxon, who remains in that position at present.
- 2010: Approval was obtained to implement a formal assisted living program which has been operating and growing since that time.
- 2011: A new bus was purchased and a competition to name the new bus resulted in the birth of “Betsy the Bus”; Home Support held the first ever Seniors’ Expo; and, a Community Development function was added to the roster of programs at MCS.
- 2012: Brought the amalgamation of the Home Support programs and the Assisted Living function under a new department called “Seniors’ Services; Phase II of our Country Street Housing units began receiving residents.