Who We Are

Who We Are

Area Residential Care is a private, non-profit, 501(c) 3 organization, created in 1968 by a group of parents and other interested parties. Its mission is to empower people with intellectual disabilities to achieve their highest quality of life. From its inception, Area Residential Care’s purpose has been to provide community-based services for persons with intellectual disabilities. The organization has grown over the past 50 years to serve an average of 250 people with disabilities annually; providing residential, vocational, and day services in Dubuque and Dyersville communities.

Through a variety of community-based residential and vocational programs, Area Residential Care helps people with disabilities become active, participating members of the community. Giving people with disabilities choices about where and how they live, work and socialize with their non-disabled peers is the essence of Area Residential Care’s purpose.


It is the vision of Area Residential Care that every individual has the opportunity to live, work, and participate in a supportive and accessible community.


It is the mission of Area Residential Care to empower people with intellectual disabilities to achieve their highest quality of life.


Area Residential Care is committed to the following values that support our vision and mission statement.

  • Every person has rights and the responsibilities associated with them.
  • Every person is to be treated with dignity and respect.
  • Every person has unique needs and preferences that influence the choices he or she makes about his or her life and services.
  • Every person is to be provided the opportunity to live, work and participate in recreational activities in the community as the natural environment.
  • Every person is to be provided with encouragement, opportunity and supports to live life to the fullest.
  • Every person is to be given the opportunity to provide direct feedback on his or her satisfaction with services, and given prompt response to concerns.


On August 18 the agency opened its doors for the first time and 20 children are moved into Kaufmann from Woodward State Hospital.
Agency purchased 2909 Kaufmann from the Archdiocese of Dubuque. The Vocational Services Center (VSC) opened its doors for the first time on Central Avenue.
The University Group Home opened as the first licensed home.
In May, the VSC moved from Central Avenue to a new home on South Locust Street.
The Delaware County Vocational Services Center (DCVSC) opened its doors in Manchester, IA.
Agency started offering apartment services in the fall.
The VSC moved from South Locust Street to Kerper Boulevard.
In November Becker Community Living Home opened as the first “waiver” home (where some of the licensing regulations are waived).
In June the Howard Community Living Home opened in Manchester.
The agency opened its first three Intermediate Care Facilities for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/ID) licensed homes.
The agency purchased its first apartment building at Pasadena.
In August the Kennedy Community Living Home opened and the residential program at Kaufmann ends.
In July the agency began offering a retirement program.
In August the Pennsylvania Community Living Home became the first Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) home. In December the agency’s main administration offices moved from 2909 Kaufmann to 1170 Roosevelt Street Extension off of Kerper.
In March the Consumer Advisory Council started meeting.
In November the apartment program expanded its services to include Dyersville and an apartment complex is opened there. The first annual Corporate & Community Games are held during the Dragonboat Festival.
The apartment complex at Kennedy Circle is built and is opened.
In August the agency adopted a new official logo. In December the community living homes opened in Dyersville.
The Roosevelt Business Office and Dubuque Vocational Service Center combined under one roof at Kennedy Circle.
Life Choices Adult Day Care program opened to the public.
The first annual Dubuque Area Baconfest was held at the Dubuque County Fairgrounds.