Who We Are

The Bristol Adult Resource Center, Inc. is a private, non-profit, United Way organization. It is made up of parents, educators, professionals in the field, and volunteers who are dedicated to providing services to and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities in the greater Bristol area.

A Brief Look Back

As with many grass roots organizations, the Bristol ARC was incorporated in 1957 as an alternative to institutionalization. With financial assistance from the United Way and the City of Bristol, programs were developed for twelve individuals and operated in a one-room schoolhouse. Since that time, the Bristol ARC has grown to include a greenhouse, restaurant, vocational center, an expanded center, a satellite building, community living arrangements, and supported living arrangements.

As a result of physical expansion of the agency, a wide range of Vocational, Residential, and Day Service options are now available to over one hundred eighty men and women with special needs.

Program and facility expansions were achieved with support from the community through grants, foundations, and benefactors. The chronology of those acquisitions and community support is as follows:

1957 Bristol ARC incorporated.
1959 Programs were developed for preschoolers and adults with United Way funds. Programs were conducted in parents’ homes.
1965 Programs conducted for twelve individuals at Edgewood School annex.
1977 Greenhouse constructed by UNICO, a local civic organization.
1980 Vocational Center and restaurant constructed.
1981 Summercrest Group Home for six individuals developed.


1983 Peck Lane Group Home for six individuals developed with HUD Section VIII funding.
1985 Expansion of Vocational Center at Jerome Avenue site.
1994 Successful move from a nine bed group home to three apartments in an apartment complex in Bristol.
1998 Expanded day programs to include specialized services to men and women with complex medical and behavioral needs.
1998-1999 Expanded residential services to include 1999 two additional Supported Living Arrangements.
2000 Purchase of satellite building located at 390 Lake Avenue.
2001 Substantial completion of Lake Avenue renovations with creation of multi-sensory room.
2001 Expanded residential services.
2004-2005 Expanded Supported Employment Programs in 2005 Bristol, Southington, and Newington.
2008 Welcomed a new Executive Director Francine M. Pangaro, Ph.D., after the retirement of long-time Executive Director, Rosemarie Cassin.
2008 Developed a fully accessible CLA for five individuals.
2008 Started providing In-Home Support Services.
2009 Developed a 3-person Continuous Residential Support Home.
2009 Larry’s Park donated by the Santilli Family was designed and constructed.
2012 Developed 3 person continuous Residential Support.
2012 Welcomed new Executive Director, Judy Gebben.
2013 Moved WAP-Activity to Lake Avenue
2013 Opened Job Readiness Program
2014 Developed 3 person CRS.
2014 Developed another 3 person CRS.
2015 Changed names of Restaurant and Greenhouse to: The Hidden Café and Jerome Gardens
2015 Opened Technology Program, Art Program and Sandwich Shop.
2016 Welcomed new Executive Director, Mary Etter.