Independent Group Home Living (IGHL) opened its first group home in Mt. Sinai, New York in 1978 by President and CEO, Walter W. Stockton. The purpose was to provide a community-based, homelike environment that encouraged personal growth and a genuine sense of belonging to a community for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Since then, IGHL has developed multiple community home opportunities, and a complete services network throughout Suffolk County.
In January 1982, the first IGHL Day Treatment program was opened in East Moriches, New York, and developed mid-sized, seven-to-nine bed residential homes on the north shore and in the Moriches area. By the mid-1980s, the need to develop homes became so acute that it prompted IGHL to develop seven 12-bed and two 10-bed homes. This expansion, during a short four-year period, more than tripled our service network; not only by the number of residential opportunities available but by the geographical area served by the agency.
1990 marked a significant expansion of the IGHL Family Support Services network, as we became one of the first private sector providers in the state to be certified to develop Family-Care homes, to which up to 18 have since been initiated. In addition, six new Individualized Residential Alternatives (IRA) homes were created. and IGHL's first Day Habilitation program, a new service that brought daytime services directly into the community on a personalized level. Between 1996 and 1998, an additional 29 Day Habilitation opportunities were developed and became the model of daytime services.
Today, more than 1,200 employees IGHL are committed to providing the highest quality of services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities so that are afforded the right to live a happy and dignified life.