History of Creative Community Living Services
In 1973, four men (Jon Nelson, Jim Esmeier, John Hunt and Joe Bissen) pioneered the concept for Creative Community Living Services, Inc. (CCLS). These four shared an innovative vision that people with disabilities deserved to live in the community – not in institutions. From that vision, CCLS (originally known as Christian Community Living Systems) was created to provide community-based living arrangements for people with disabilities.
CCLS was officially incorporated on October 3, 1973. Shortly thereafter, the first CCLS program opened when eight young women who had spent their lives in a state institution moved into a large house on Madison's east side. Today, CCLS serves consumers in more than 20 counties, providing highly individualized programs that range from one-to-one assistance in individual homes to all forms of personalized living arrangements in adult family homes and community based residential facilities. In addition, day services, recreational programs, nursing supports, case management and community vocational are services available.
Through the years, CCLS has experienced many changes. The company expanded and changed in many ways including corporate structure, geography, and scope of services. Today, CCLS is a non-stock Wisconsin corporation, which means that CCLS owns itself and all profit goes back into the company.
Throughout all of the growth and changes, CCLS has remained dedicated to its mission and to the vision of its founders. CCLS is one of the largest, most diverse service providers for people with special needs in the State of Wisconsin
As CCLS enters the age of statewide Family Care, it is at the helm of providing the most innovative, diverse services in at least ten of the planned consortiums with the desire and ability to provide services to all.