History of LR
Liberty Resources, Inc. was founded in 1980 by a committee of consumers and community leaders affiliated with Disabled In Action (DIA) who sought to develop a community-based consumer-directed organization that would promote and support Independent Living for Persons with Disabilities. This group worked for over two years to identify and assess the needs of disabled consumers in the Philadelphia area, to mobilize community support for a Center for Independent Living (CIL) and to explore and secure program funding. With a three-grant from the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Center began operations in 1980 in a “storefront” facility in West Philadelphia and was one of the first Centers of its kind in Pennsylvania.
With an initial staff of seven, the Center (then known as Resources for Living Independently) served over 200 individuals in its first year. As the Center experienced program expansion, it amicably separated from Disabled In Action, Inc. in 1982, formed a Board of Directors, and established an independent organization. Resources for Living Independently (RLI) incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1983 and received tax exempt status in 1984. During the following years, RLI began to expand and receive grants and contracts to provide additional services to individuals with disabilities. RLI established contractual agreements with the City of Philadelphia to provide homemaker services and with the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare to provide personal assistance services. With additional grants from the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Center was able to offer transitioning services to individuals leaving institutions and other sheltered environments for independent situations in the community, and opened a satellite office in Delaware and Montgomery Counties, thereby bringing Independent Living services to residents of the suburban counties. In 1992, that satellite, later called Freedom Valley Disability Enablement Center, was incorporated and now serves the counties surrounding the Philadelphia area.
Realizing the need for transitional housing for individuals with disabilities in Philadelphia, RLI began a campaign to establish a transitional living facility which would assist individuals to move from institutions and parental homes to Independent Living situations in the community. The RLI Board, along with other community agencies, developed and opened the Transition to Independent Living (TIL) facility in September 1988 with the assistance of Housing and Human Development (HUD), city, and foundation funding. In 1994 TIL separated from Liberty Resources and is now governed by its own Board of Directors.
In October 1993, RLI merged with another CIL located in Philadelphia, the Liberty Center for Independent Living. Following the merger, Liberty Resources, Inc. was adopted as the Center’s new name.