When Chartiers Center opened their doors in 1968 there was a lot going on in the world.
Headlining the news were these stories:
US troops in Vietnam peaked at 543,000.
Astronaut Neil Armstrong took his legendary “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
We were listening to Aretha Franklin, the Beatles and Jimmy Hendrix. Locally “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” was getting their start on national TV! Hippies rocked the fashion world and Levi started to sell bell-bottomed jeans. The Jackson 5 appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. (Michael Jackson was 11).
In 1966 the Pennsylvania State Legislature passed the Mental Health Mental Retardation Act which had as its major purpose “to make it possible for every person with a mental disability to receive the kind of treatment he needs, when and where he needs it.” Catchment areas were set up statewide, with each catchment area to be headed by a Base Service Unit which was to see that mandated services were offered. In July 1968 a community meeting was held and a plan for a community corporation was endorsed. By December 1968 bylaws were accepted, a temporary Board was elected and steps were taken to incorporate Chartiers Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center.
The first office was in Mt. Lebanon, but by late 1970, Chartiers had leased space on the first floor of 437 Railroad St. Bridgeville was chosen for two reasons: it was the geographical center of the catchment area, and transportation was available to all parts of the region served. The procedure for conducting intake and evaluation, consultation and education was begun. In May 1972, Chartiers first Therapeutic Activity Center (TAC) for adults with mental retardation was opened at Mt. Pisgah Church in Greentree. To say the rest is history would be true, but over the coming year we have a lot more to share about Chartiers Center’s rich history of treatment and service.
More to come.