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Albemarle City Council recognizes Monarch for 60 years of service

On Nov. 5, the Albemarle City Council adopted a resolution recognizing Monarch’s 60 years of service to the Albemarle and greater Stanly County communities during its regularly scheduled council meeting Monday night.

Monarch has celebrated its milestone anniversary through a series of events throughout the year to commemorate the company’s legacy and reflect on its origin.

On April 27, 1958, a group of concerned parents and business leaders set into motion a plan to improve the lives of and provide support to Stanly County’s children with disabilities and their families.

What they didn’t realize at the time is that six decades later, their efforts would lay the foundation for an organization that serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), mental illness and substance use disorders across the state of North Carolina.

In earlier days, the organization, then called The Arc of Stanly, worked to raise awareness and change the public’s perception of children with disabilities and to educate parents and others regarding the potential of people with I/DD.

They also worked to identify jobs for people who wanted to work and to procure services for children and adults who were denied day care, preschool, education, residential and vocational supports.

The organization has never shied away from a challenge, or risk, to improve people’s lives. From the beginning, company leaders stepped in and led the way in innovation by:

• Opening the first integrated daycare center in the state for children with and without disabilities;

• Opening the state’s first HUD group home on East Main Street in Albemarle;

• Creating the state’s first home in Stanly County for people with Prader-Willi Syndrome and later replicating that residential model in other counties; and

• Opening the first child and adolescent Facility-Based Crisis Center in Charlotte for young people experiencing a mental health crisis.

Monarch continues to lead by:

• Creating job opportunities for people who want to work regardless of their disability;

• Moving away from sheltered workshops into inclusive community-based day programming that encourages people to create lasting relationships with their neighbors and community leaders;

• Providing people in the most remote counties with treatment and recovery option through technology; and

• Using smart home technology to help people gain greater independence and age in place.

Under the leadership of President/Chief Executive Officer Peggy Terhune since 1995, Monarch provides an array of services and supports across North Carolina for approximately 30,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance use disorders.

The company employs 1,800 professionals statewide, with approximately 250 of those employees working in Stanly County. During its most recent fiscal year, Monarch served about 1,500 people in Stanly.

Terhune and Monarch Board Chairman Lee Allen said the organization continues its commitment to address the needs of the community where it was established and maintains its administrative headquarters.

Recently, Monarch was awarded a $1.6 million federal grant to expand services for people with serious mental issues and substance use disorders in Stanly County through the Certified Community Behavioral and Health Clinic model.

Monarch officials project they will continue to grow as demand for their supports and services increase in Albemarle and beyond.