Lifeworks: Our History
Farm Dog Bakery is an affiliated part of Lifeworks, and our mission is the same: to provide services and support to meet the growing needs of people with disabilities.
Lifeworks history demonstrates a steady and continuing progress towards meeting that goal. Our flagship program is the Outward Bound Group Home that opened in 1980 championed, by parent leadership through The Arc of Cowlitz County. Within 3 years, we established our own non-profit status as Residential Resources Association and began our expansion from 8 clients to the more than 100 we serve today.
Since 1980, we have developed a variety of service options in sites throughout the community. Sometimes driven by state leadership and other times in response to urgent community need, our residents live in homes and apartments where they receive in-home support and assistance depending on their developmental ability.
In addition to the residences we have created, the new millennium brought a new part of our organization: AmeriCorps. We now manage the Cowlitz AmeriCorps network both to help reach our goals and to improve the community as a whole.
Over the years we have worked hard to live up to our Mission Statement, “Transforming lives by building the capacity of individuals, families, organizations, and the community to thrive and achieve their goals regardless of personal challenge; promoting self determination, dignity, and respect; creating opportunities for living, learning, working, and personal growth.” Residential Resources’ clients hold down jobs in the community, participate in the Special Olympics, interact socially in our community with dances and social clubs, fulfill lifelong dreams of traveling and have even taken cruises, gone camping and attended family reunions. Residential Resources has come a long way since that first meeting in 1980 and will continue to grow and strive for excellence in our dedication to the clients and the community we serve.
In 2003, Lifeworks piloted the Farm Dog Bakery to provide a community integrated work place for people with disabilities, a goal that is still going strong in 2016.
As of January 2009, the Adult Developmental Center (ADC) became a program of Residential Resources. This program provides people with disabilities the opportunity to find meaningful employment, and helps employers find the right person for their jobs. The vocational department is joining with others to help change lives, one job at a time.
In April of 2009, Residential Resources made the decision to change its name to "Life Works". The new name is more representative of the multitude of services that we provide to children and adults throughout Cowlitz County, helping people to "make life work".