A modern history of the disability civil rights movement, and its impact on the founding and growth of Jubilee Association of Maryland. Join us in celebrating 45 years of Jubilee!
Setting the Stage for Change
National and international news begins to draw attention to the treatment of people with intellectual disabilities. L’Arche, French for “The Ark,” is founded in Trosly, France, in 1964. The organization would grow into a worldwide movement and become the inspiration for Jubilee’s first home.
Geraldo Rivera’s 1972 exposé of New York’s Willowbrook State School, the world’s largest institution for people with disabilities, shocks the nation.
In 1977, Judy Heumann and more than 100 other civil rights activists lead a 26-day sit-in at the San Francisco federal building to call on the Carter administration to sign Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, which had been stalled for four years. The regulations were signed on April 28.
Jubilee Becomes Home
A group from Hyattsville Mennonite Church opens Jubilee’s first group home on Sandy Ridge Road in Silver Spring. Bob Dove and Mark Mathias move in on January 27 with support from Larry and Lois Kennedy. At a time when many people with disabilities live in institutions, Jubilee is a radical model of inclusion.
Leadership for the Future
Tim Wiens is appointed Executive Director on April 1 and leads Jubilee for the following 40 years.
National and Local Advocacy
On March 13, 1990, hundreds of demonstrators leave their wheelchairs and crutches at the bottom of the United States Capitol building steps to participate in the Capitol Crawl, drawing attention to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) stalled in Congress. President George H.W. Bush signs the act on July 26.
Self-Advocacy Group Forms
Jubilee’s Client Council holds its first meeting with 11 clients in attendance.
Freedom From Segregation
The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Olmstead v. Lois Curtis that unjustified segregation of people with disabilities is unlawful discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act. She would go on to meet President Barak Obama and give him one of her paintings in 2011. Lois continued to advocate for disability rights until her death in 2022.
New Space for Work, Community
The purchase of an office building in Kensington symbolizes Jubilee’s stability and expectation of future growth. The building serves as a community hub for social programs and administrative staff.
Focus on Choice in Housing
Jubilee decides to stop purchasing group homes. All growth since 2007 has been in supporting people in homes where they hold their own lease or deed.
Housing Partnership: Rosaria Communities
Jubilee partners with Rosaria Communities and St. Rose of Lima parish to open the first of now 6 homes where Rosaria is the landlord and Jubilee provides support services. Founding housemates James L’Heureux, Anthony Pedone, and Stephen Roldan, become fast friends and still live together today.
Housing Partnership: Housing Opportunities Commission
Jubilee partners with HOC to open the first of now 4 homes where HOC is the landlord and Jubilee provides support services.
Going Above and Beyond
Along with five other organizations, Jubilee founds the Direct Support Professional Training Consortium which trains support staff above and beyond state requirements.
Steve Keener becomes Executive Director on July 1 following the retirement of Tim Wiens. Elaine Carney and other representatives of Jubilee’s client council welcome Steve with a basket of vegetables, symbolizing his role in tending the growth of the organization.
Housing Partnership: Potomac Community Resources
PCR partners with Our Lady of Mercy Parish and the Archdiocese of Washington to lease the James M. Sullivan Memorial House to Jubilee clients. Liz Grimberg, Debbie Lim, Diana Krolikowski, and Sarah McGhee (not pictured), pictured with Tim Wiens, Olubukola Folaranmi, and Steve Keener, make the house their home.
Housing Partnerships: Main Street Apartments & Parkside Landing
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Main Street in Rockville welcomes new residents. Eli Lewis moves into his own place in this inclusion-minded apartment complex.
A new partnership with Rockville Housing Enterprises opens a door for 14 people supported by Jubilee to move into newly renovated apartments at Parkside Landing.
William S. Abell Foundation provides a three-year grant to start Jubilee’s Breaking Barriers program to help underserved communities access disability support services.
Housing Support Services
Jubilee is one of the first agencies to start providing Housing Support Services under a new Maryland Medicaid waiver designed to separate housing from direct support services. In its first year, Jubilee enrolls 88 people in the program. Kristen Ulek’s quest to find the right apartment is successful thanks to help from Housing Support Specialist Amanda Gibson.
Living Our Best Lives
We take pride in helping adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities live their best lives. Jubilee provides direct support services to more than 150 people in 88 locations throughout Montgomery County. Another 20 receive just Housing Support services. Jubilee offers more than 300 events and activities throughout the year to help people connect socially and engage with the broader community.