Historical Summary

1972     The ARC was incorporated as a 501c3 not-for-profit organization.

1973     Developmental Training Program began at Trinity Episcopal Church.

1974     Administrative Offices and DTP moved to Colonial Court Motel.

1977       Administrative Offices and DTP moved to 20 Cordova Street.

1979     Work Training Program opened at 186 Palmer Street.  Can recycling project and Thrift Shop opened at 2901 N. Ponce de Leon Blvd.

1981     Administrative Offices and Thrift Shop moved to 49 Cordova Street.

1982     First Group Home opened at Pomar House, 62 Cuna Street.

DTP Enrollment grows to 28 participants.

Administrative Offices moved to DeSoto Place.

1983       Work Training and DTP moved to Washington Street.

1984     Administrative Offices, Work Training, and DTP moved to 299 San Marco Avenue.

1985     Two individuals were placed in community jobs – Flagler College and Grumman.

Thrift Shop moved to 299 San Marco.

1986     SJH, Inc. was created to comply with requirement of HUD loan for construction of a new group.

ARC received a special appropriation to open a preschool for infants, and the Therapeutic Learning Center (TLC) opened for Early Intervention services with 11 children with special needs enrolled.

The FOD (Foreign Object Debris) Squad was established at Grumman Aircraft to assist with grounds clean up.

1987     Contract initiated with State Florida to maintain a Rest Area on I-95.

ARC St. Johns received ARC of the Year Award from ARC of Florida.

Renovation of Pomar House began with a special appropriation from the Florida Legislature.

1988     A grant from the Tournament Players Championship provided funds for opening of a new group home called the TPC House.

The Florida Legislature provided an appropriation for the planning and partial funding for the construction of the new administration and training facility called ITEC.

1989     The Florida Legislature provided an appropriation of funds to complete construction of ITEC.

Agency of the Year Award was presented from District IV, Developmental Services, HRS.

1990     The new ITEC and administrative offices opens at 2101 ARC Drive.

Award of $10,000 received from UPS.

The first married participants (and their baby) moved into their own apartment, marking the beginning of the Supported Living Program.

1991     Long-term contractual agreement initiated with Vocation Rehabilitation (VR) for Supported Employment Services.

Developmental Services provided contract to officially begin Supported Living Program with six participants.

1992     Pomar House downsized to 9 residents.

Williams-Young House opened at 10 Sunrise Boulevard.

The first three-year accreditation from the State Commission of Accreditation of Rehabilitate Facilities (CARF) achieved. (renewed 1995, 1998)

1993     The Department of Alcohol, Drug Abuse & Mental Health provided a grant to fund Day Treatment and Medication Management services for individuals with dual diagnoses.

The Supported Employment Department hosted the first Employers Appreciation Awards Breakfast.

1994     The Florida Governor’s Alliance Award as Placement Service of the Year of the Year received. (Also in 1995)

ADM received grant to provide employment services to individuals with dual diagnoses.

Received the Beverly Chapman Outstanding Employment Award from the Governor’s Alliance and Florida Endowment Foundation.

1995     Received $7,100 from The Florida Endowment Foundation for Employer and Public Service Education.

The Personal, Social and Community Program was developed to meet the needs of severely challenged individuals.

1996     ARC St. Johns received Chapter Newsletter ward from ARC Florida for “Forward Look”.

Mimosa House and Alcala House group homes opened for 6 men and 6 women.

Life Options Services were offered as alternative to tradition workshop programs. Grant from Jacksonville Foundation to establish a Life Options volunteer/mentor program.

1998     ARC Supported Employment Services and St. Johns County Transition Team award Project Connect Grant, one of only five in the State.

1999     Beaches Extension Adult Day Training opened.

Gentian House group home opened.


2000       Shamrock House opened, the fifth group home.

Five acres on Inman Road purchased for future expansion.

Name changed to

The Arc of the St. Johns

2001       TLC became a charter school.

Behavioral Services Department developed to assist with long-term behavioral issues within the residential and day services,

Expansion of The Arc facility began with the addition of a new cafeteria and hurricane shelter.

TPC House downsized by opening of Colonial House, the sixth group home.

Supported Employment begins new Native American Outreach Program.

Residential Services adds Nursing Services to be provided at Williams-Young and Gentian Group homes.

An Irrevocable Trust to benefit The Arc was created from the estate of Eveline Williams, and provides funding for client needs no covered by other sources.

2002       Residential seventh group home is built and called Segovia House.

2002       TPC House sold. Shore House opened.

Arc Day Training converts from workshops to regular classes and learning opportunities.

2004       Native American Program defunded and is discontinued.

The Arc formed the first endowment through a gift from Ms. Maria Santana, a longtime member, founder, and friend.

American City Bureau contracted to conduct a development audit for The Arc.

2005       In-Home Support Program developed to serve the residential needs of individuals with available 24-hour supervision and Supported Living Coaching.

2006       The Arc of the St. Johns hosted the 53rd Annual convention of all Arc of Florida members and affiliates.

The Arc of the St. Johns awarded the Chapter of the Year.

2007       Transportation services were developed when contract with Council on Aging ended.

The Arc of the St. Johns was awarded The Arc of the Year.

2008       The Marketing and Development Department was established to assist in providing the resources need to carry out our mission.

2009       Kings House is purchased as our eighth group home. Colonial House completely remodeled.

The St. Johns Community Campus was opened as the second charter school for young adults age 18 to 22.

2010       The Therapeutic Learning Center opened its brand-new facility adjacent to The Arc’s primary building.

The Arc of the St. Johns awarded the Chapter of the Year.

2011       The 9th group home added with the purchase of Church House.

2013       The Arc of the St. Johns wins the award for best Marketing and Development programs.

2017       The 10th group home was added with the building of Pacetti House with a supporting grant from Florida Housing.

The Arc received a $500,000 special appropriation from the Florida Legislature to assist in the construction of a new hurricane shelter and classroom facility for the St. Johns Community Campus program.

The Arc of the St. Johns awarded The Chapter of the Year.

2018      The 11th group home added with the purchase of Ponce House.

2019       The 12th group home added with the construction of Ward’s Creek House, supported by a grant from Florida Housing.

2019       The 13th group home was added with the purchase of Alicante House.

2021       The new St. Johns Community Campus building and hurricane shelter was completed with a successful capital campaign and two special appropriations from the Florida Legislature.  The new building was officially opened and dedicated in August.

2022       Construction begins on a new Performing Arts facility adjacent to the Community Campus building, with completion scheduled late 2022.

New portable classroom added to main campus to accommodate increase in enrollment.


Growing this agency from its origins as the Association for Retarded Citizens – ARC, through all of the relocations, funding challenges, and the cultivation of working relationships with families, St. Johns County, and St. Augustine communities, is actually a remarkable love story.

Every achievement, every new and necessary step forward, can be attributed to the love and support shown us by community leaders, organizations that have embraced our mission, and the growing staff of dedicated and loving individuals who could all find regular jobs somewhere else, but choose to come to work every day to care for and support the men, women, and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities and special needs.

The dozens of leaders who have served as members of our board of directors over the years have been invaluable guides and counsel along the way.  Many have stayed on past their terms simply because they love being part of this extraordinary mission.

We have been blessed with members of the Florida Legislature whose hearts and compassion have transcended politics and shed light and financial investment in the lives of the people we serve here.

Many of the individuals we serve have been with us for years, many others are quite new to the high level of service we make available to them.  I’m pretty sure they love being with us, and we love each and every one of them for choosing The Arc of the St. Johns for their care and support.

We know this mission will never end.  All of us at The Arc of the St. Johns are working every day to ensure that this agency is prepared for the next half-century and beyond.

The fact is, we love what we do.

Kathy P. Jackson
Executive Director
Since 1984