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Our history and our future are about you. For more than 55 years, Waypoint (formerly known as Waban) has helped change and empower the lives of individuals with disabilities. Our programs and services continue to evolve to meet the needs of the Maine community while remaining steadfast in our commitment to the highest standards of care.
We have come a long way since we began our journey. Let’s take a look at our history.
Founded in Sanford, Maine in 1966, Waypoint began as Camp Waban on Bauneg Beg Lake. Originally a retreat where children with intellectual and developmental disabilities could have fun, share experiences, and learn about nature, the camp hosted 28 campers with 32 volunteer staff members in its first year.
Camp Waban began transforming into a more expansive social resource in the 1970s. In 1971, it launched its young adult vocational program. In 1972, it created a developmental therapy program for younger children. In 1976, Waypoint (then known as Waban) began providing adult day services to support adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The good news spread and more children and adults wanted to participate in Waypoint programs. To meet this growing demand, the 1980s focused on expanded offerings.
In 1982, Waypoint opened the Country Store to serve members and the community. In 1984, the organization launched Brookwood, Waypoint’s first group home for adults with disabilities. More group homes soon followed.
In the late 1980s, Waypoint expanded the child development center.
Support & Independence
In its third decade of operation, Waypoint focused on meeting the most fundamental needs of its community members: independence, advocacy, and resources.
The first step in accomplishing this goal came In the early 1990s, Waypoint opened its first supervised apartments to offer more independence to members. In 1993, Waypoint opened two new group homes to the former residents of Pineland, formerly Maine’s institution for people with intellectual disabilities.
In 1995, Waypoint opened three new residences in the neighboring Springvale, Maine.
By the turn of the millennium, Waypoint had 13 residential projects and group homes. A new main office building in Sanford was under construction.
Focusing on Family
Waypoint recognized the immense impact of early intervention and family support on the long-term well-being of individuals with disabilities. In response, the organization shifted its programming significantly.
In 2000, Waypoint launched its children’s case management program. Over the next three years, the organization opened additional homes, and in 2006, Waypoint began offering in-home support to adults to empower them to live more independently.
Waypoint had a big year in 2007. The organization started its work on the TREE Center, a nature-based four-seasons experiential learning program. It also launched onsite therapeutic rehabilitation services, opened two new group homes in Kennebunk and Springvale, and expanded its waterfront infrastructure.
A Social Enterprise
By this point it was time to grow as an organization. SecureRMS, a secure document destruction company, launched in 2010. Occupying a 15,000-square-foot building, Secure RMS employs many adult members today and is a successful business in its own right.
In 2011, Waypoint developed its first fully accessible hiking loop and opened additional group homes throughout the next few years.
In 2014, staff and volunteers completed two and a half miles of universally accessible hiking trails.
Waypoint soon expanded its focus on the Fraser Ford Child Development Center in response to the growing need for autism services. Waypoint opened an autism therapy wing at the Center following a successful $1 million capital campaign.
Today, Fraser Ford School is a supportive and valuable resource for children with autism, behavioral health needs and developmental disabilities.
A New Identity (Rebrand)
With five decades of support and advocacy to reflect proudly on, Waypoint is looking ahead to provide high quality services to children and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities efficiently and innovatively. With its talented and compassionate professional team, Waypoint now offers thousands of hours of care personalized to meet its members’ unique needs.
As needs emerge and challenges arise, Waypoint will continue to refine its services, programs, and advocacy to support its constituents. Waypoint is also pleased to align members’ interests with the unique needs of Maine to enrich our collective community.
The Waypoint story is a story in progress, and you help shape what comes next. Thank you for being part of our journey. Together, we can accomplish great things!