A Brief History
Lakemary Center, like most great accomplishments, was the product of the determined efforts of a few good people. In 1969, the Ursuline Sisters of Paola, came together with parents, community members and friends to create a safe, nurturing environment for children with developmental disabilities.
The Ursuline Sisters donated 32 acres of land in Paola and initial staffing to make the project a reality. The main campus facilities were built through a federal grant which was matched by locally supported industrial revenue bonds providing a year-round residential school for children with special needs.
Adult services began in 1983 when two homes were built in Paola and two more in 1986. In 1985, LMC Industries in Paola was founded to provide vocational training and teach adult living skills. In 1991, two homes were constructed in Olathe and Lakemary began offering supervised apartment living in both Miami and Johnson counties. In 1995, the Olathe Service Center opened to offer employment and day service options in the area and today a second location in Olathe, the Lone Elm Service Center, provides additional day service options to those who need it. An additional office in Mission, Kansas helps provide targeted case management and supported family living (foster care) to area families.
Since its inception, Lakemary has served as a resource for families across the country always staying true to our mission: providing choices and opportunities for children and adults with special needs to maximize the freedom and control they can bring to their lives.
Today Lakemary is a well established agency with a national reputation for quality whose services touch the lives of over 600 individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities each year. Over 100 students currently receive primary and secondary education at Lakemary's school, with 64 of the children residing on campus year-round in Lakemary's Psychiatric Residential Treatment Program (PRTF). An additional 250 children receive services through community outreach programs including infant toddler, foster care, service coordination and outpatient therapy. Our adult program serves 120 individuals in residential settings throughout Johnson and Miami counties and over 200 in vocational programming.
Referrals come from a number of sources including families, home school districts, other social service agencies, and mental health professionals.
From early intervention for at-risk young people to retirement supports for older adults - Lakemary provides a lifetime of opportunities for those we serve.