Trail Association for Community Living (TACL) has been providing support and services to people with diverse needs for over 65 years. In the early 1950’s many families from the Kootenay’s had children with diverse needs living in Institution’s throughout the province. There was a strong belief that these children could learn and live in their own community and the long distance made it very difficult for families to visit. These were driving forces behind building a facility closer to home. The Kootenay Society for Handicapped Children was founded by Dr. W. J. Endicott, a member of the Trail community as well as families and volunteers to run a school for children with disabilities. The Society continued to grow and change and was soon providing support and education as “The Maple School”.
Over the years, The Maple School transitioned from the “classroom” to a “workshop” for adults. The classroom was moved into Sunningdale School and continued with Katie Shaw as one of the teachers. Katie Shaw was a pioneer for establishing equality of living for individuals with disabilities.
During the 1980’s the workshop was relocated to the downtown area and was renamed Trail Contracting Services. Portland House, with support from the Kiwanis, was opened as a home to provide life skills training for individuals to live in the community. Soon after, Willow Place in Warfield opened its doors as a group home. The “group home” era of the organization officially began. The Trail Association for Community Living over the years has since opened three more homes and continues to grow.
TACL purchased property on Riverside Avenue and it was named the Trail Association Activity Center (TAAC) providing a home for TACL’s Day Program, Child and Youth programs and community support services we provide. We continued to grow and Career Development Services came under our umbrella providing employment services in the greater Trail area.
Most recently, the addition of the Community Inclusion Centre (CIC), a community space for groups and individuals to come together. The CIC also houses the laNina Extreme Weather Shelter as well as employment services and the Wood Store.
TACL is committed to providing quality service and support to individuals and their families and advocates for these people to enhance quality of life, community acceptance and understanding.