1970 – 1990
The first step was taken in 1976 when Mental Health Services rented the space next to their offices and established a workshop using their existing staff. The plan was to incorporate the workshop as a private, not-for-profit corporation to provide work evaluation and work adjustment services to people with disabilities. While we continue to provide these services to people referred from the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency and to people with a Medicaid NOW or COMP waiver, we have also expanded the services we offer over the years. For many years our focus was on providing training and employment services by contracting with local business to provide the labor pool for their products. This allowed the people we served to have real work experiences in a safe setting. We focused on helping them improve work behaviors so that they could eventually work in a job in the community. When they were ready for employment, our placement staff found them jobs and trained them to on the job. We continued to follow them on the job so that we could help trouble shoot any issues. This allowed many people to be successful at maintaining employment.
1990 – 2000
In March of 1996, Creative Enterprises added a Horticulture Program to provide therapeutic, occupational and vocational benefits. Our clients experience the miracle of growing wonderful creations from seeds. With their intervention, these seeds grow into beautiful plants and with our intervention our clients grow into productive people. This horticulture program has a curriculum that can assist in teaching the essentials to hold down competitive employment in a related field. The horticulture program offers supportive employment and training for people whose full potential can only be reached in a structured setting.
In September of 1996, a Day Habilitation Program was established to provide services to individuals who have barriers to employment so severe that employment is not an immediate goal. The program was implemented to include activity therapy, self help skills, survival techniques in emergency situations, current events, art, music, exercise, community awareness, and activities of daily living. The program began with 4 full time MRWP (Mental Retardation Waiver Program) Medicaid Waiver slots and 28 part time Grant-in-Aid recipients.
2000 and Beyond!
In 2001, Creative Enterprises became a licensed animal shelter in order to provide pet therapy to people with disabilities and in nursing homes. Our clients go into the community as a class and provide the therapy to others. We have a variety of animals so that people interested in working with animals can gain experience.
In January, 2003, our new Day Habilitation building celebrated its grand opening and currently serves 26 full time clients through the Medicaid Waiver Program, Grant-in-Aid and private agencies on a daily basis. An expansion to this building provided by grant funding in 2007 will serve as a locale for large group interactions, and as a way to encourage members of the community to understand and support the services that Creative Enterprises provides.
In 2009, the main campus expanded with the acquisition of an adjacent building from Gwinnett County. Since 2010, this building has been home to the Creative Enterprises Thrift Store. We also added our art building for our folk artists to supplement their income and our private pay program for people who have not been referred to us from GVRA or DBHDD. The main campus grew even more in December, 2010 with the purchase of the former Red Cross building, which now hosts classes as the Education Building.
In 2016, Creative Enterprises expanded its operations into Forsyth County building a similar campus structure as that in Gwinnett County with a broad range of educational and vocational training services for individuals enrolled in our programs. A strong community support network enabled the acquisition of a historic church that was renovated into a modern facility that easily supports persons with disabilities. The grounds have been beautified and many amenities were added that created a wholesome atmosphere for all to enjoy.