To support individuals with special needs in pursuit of homes, small-group employment, supported living services and activities of their choice within our community.
Since 1968 Eastco has touched the lives of hundreds of developmentally disabled adults and their families throughout Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties. Our programs have proven to be a great success including a variety of classes and social activities, jobs at integrated worksites, our in-house production area, and residential homes around Gresham with 24-hour staff, as well as a supported living program that facilitates semi-independent living. We support individuals in exercising choice, increasing independence and participating in society.
Eastco was originally incorporated as the MeRe Center, a nonprofit agency with a 501(c)(3) status, in August of 1968. In the 1980’s the name changed from MeRe Center to Eastco Diversified Services, Inc. The agency became a reality when a parent of a developmentally disabled daughter, Barbara Place, and a group of parents with similar needs banded together to start a school program. It quickly grew from one donated classroom in a church school to four classrooms to provide special education under contract with the Gresham School District.
In the mid 1970’s when P.L. 94-142 became effective and the school districts assumed responsibility for special education, Eastco’s focus was directed to serving adults in an activity center. The agency opened one of the first state licensed residential homes in the 1970’s, and added four additional homes throughout the next few years. The construction of three of the residential homes was financed through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Today, Eastco operates seven group homes.
At the time Eastco opened their first new residential home, a local physician, Dr. Malcolm McGregor, purchased the land and buildings from a local Gresham church and donated it to Eastco. Ever since then the agency has been providing jobs and homes for persons with developmental disabilities.?