The Gordon County Training Center opened in March 1970 in the basement of the old College Street School. At the time, they had just five clients. In the beginning, the agency was built in a comforting, home-like atmosphere where developmentally disabled children could learn a variety of new subjects – such as care of the home and clothing, shopping, and a number of academic disciplines – and gain more independence. There were also classes established for children with learning disabilities and behavioral problems from the school system. A pre-school department gave infants with developmental disabilities – ages 6 weeks and up – a head start.
In 1970 the school system was mandated to provide services to school-aged children and, in some cases, those younger than five. The agency sent these children back to school; however, in several cases, the psycho-educational center asked to contract with the agency to serve some of the students and, when it was a more appropriate, provide placement due to requested standards. The agency would provide information to the school system each year for the child-find program and then take referrals from the school system for those students who had achieved all the school system could provide after age 18.
In 1972, the Board purchased the Holcomb home on Highway 53 and expanded to include services for 17 clients, a tremendous growth for the organization. Twenty years later, the Georgia Department of Human Resources created several Regional Boards for Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Substance Abuse. At this time, the agency was serving up to 35-40 clients and employed 12-13 staff contracted for psychological services and speech, as well as occupational and physical therapies.
Presently, the agency – now known as the George Chambers Resource Center – employs approximately 21 staff and serves 54 individuals. GCRC provides services that include, but are not limited to, Supported Employment, Community Access, Community Living Support, Respite, Natural Support Training, and Transportation on a year-round basis. The staff supports several individuals who either live alone or with another individual, assisting with their day-to-day living needs. The agency also serves individuals from Gordon and surrounding counties who have been diagnosed with developmental disabilities. The staff acts as advocates for any individual who desires assistance in any area, as well as external resources for support, behavioral health, physical health, abuse, law enforcement and the judicial system, and housing and civil rights issues.