Our story began in the mid-1970s when “Almonte Community Builders" was established. Community members came together to build affordable housing for low-income families, working closely with the Town Council. The result was a successful application to the Ontario government for a neighbourhood improvement grant to service an available tract of land, and funding from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation for construction of affordable housing.
The group incorporated itself as the Almonte Community Development Corporation Inc. (ACDC) on December 9th, 1975. ACDC constructed 12 family units on Norton Street. This first project was completed in 1978 and named the Gail Thomson Residences in honour of one of the founding members of ACDC.
For more than four decades, we have continued to respond to community needs through seniors services, affordable housing and developmental services.
Milestones through the 1980s
1981: Parkside Residence opened, a group home for people with developmental disabilities housed in the old convent on Bridge Street in Almonte.
1983: Construction of the Town & Country Apartments (Phase I) was completed. The five-storey building had 50 apartments for seniors.
1988: ACDC took on the management of the Almonte/Ramsay & District Home Support program, providing services for seniors and people with disabilities.
1989: Mijiwam Residence construction was completed, providing a group home for individuals with multiple disabilities. Construction of the Maude Street Townhouses was also completed, providing 14 affordable family housing units.
Milestones through the 1990s
1990: The Family Relief Program at Mijiwam began.
1992: St. James complex construction was completed, providing 32 more affordable housing single-occupancy and family units. Parkside Residence was relocated to our St. James Housing complex, providing more independent living for individuals with developmental disabilities.
1999: ACDC renovated a house on the 12th Concession of Ramsay Township to provide a home for individuals moving out of Rideau Regional Centre.
Milestones from 2000 to today
In preparing for the new millennium, the Corporation decided to change the name of the organization to reflect the amalgamation of Almonte, Pakenham and Ramsay townships into what is now known as Mississippi Mills. The goal was also to recognize Stanley Mills, one of its founding members and past Chair. We became Mills Community Support Corporation (MCS).
2000: MCS moved into office quarters in the Old Town Hall of Almonte.
2001: A new Apartment Respite Program began for families of children with varied disabilities.
2002: A Rent Supplement Program (in partnership with Lanark County Mental Health Services) was created. It encouraged private housing to become rent-subsidized living accommodations for people with mental illness.
2003: MCS began its first HomeShare program. A staff person was hired full-time to live with a person with developmental disabilities not particularly well suited to group living environments. “Gus the Bus” was purchased for the Home Support Program to help provide wheelchair accessible transportation for medical appointments and social outings.
2005: MCS became an active participant in the Transitional Aged Youth Initiative, supporting individuals moving out of the children’s welfare system into the Developmental Services Sector at the age of 18.
2006: Through the Facility Initiative, MCS successfully transitioned individuals from the Rideau Regional Centre into group living arrangements in Smiths Falls.
2007: Further facility transitioning requirements led to the construction of a new intervention home in Almonte for deaf/blind individuals.
2008: MCS moved to a new facility. Michael Coxon was appointed CEO.
2010: Approval was obtained to implement a formal assisted living program.
2011: A new bus was purchased and a competition to name the new bus resulted in the birth of “Betsy the Bus”. Home Support held the first-ever Seniors’ Expo. A Community Development function was added to the roster of programs at MCS.
2012: Home Support programs and the Assisted Living function were amalgamated under a new department called “Seniors’ Services”. Phase II of our Country Street Housing units began receiving residents.
2017: Robert Eves was appointed CEO.
2018: The Country Street Centre opened, providing a vibrant place for seniors and local tenants to gather, socialize and be active. It is located between two MCS-owned apartment buildings at 375 and 411 Country Street.
2019: The Country Street Solarium opened. MCS became Carebridge Community Support. Carebridge's Country Street Complex was renamed 'The Stan Mills Centre' in recognition of Stan's significant contributions.