Alpha Supported Living Services is a non-profit agency providing supported living and group home services to adults with developmental disabilities living in homes in King County. The agency has its roots in group homes operated by four separate agencies. Alpha Home, located on the west slope of Queen Anne Hill, was founded in 1974 and began serving program participants in a group home setting in 1975. The group home was established by parents of individuals with developmental disabilities who identified a need for additional residential services in the community. Spring Meadow Specialized Homes had a similar history in that it was established in 1984 by a group of family members of individuals with developmental disabilities who desired community residential services. The two agencies had a history of working together and in April 1998, Alpha Home entered into a trial management contract with Spring Meadow Specialized Homes. In September 1998, the contract was expanded and Alpha Spring Meadow Homes was formed.
Seattle Specialized Group Home was founded in 1981 by a group of parents whose sons and daughters lived in large institutions because of their developmental disabilities. Previously, these individuals were denied residential services in community settings because of the lack of programs able to adequately support their unique challenges. This corporation operated as Seattle Specialized Residential Support (SSRS) and provided group home service until 1997 when the last group home was converted to supported living services. SSRS provided group home and supported living services for 25 years until approaching Alpha Spring Meadow Homes to merge. In January 2007, SSRS merged with and into Alpha Spring Meadow Homes and Alpha Supported Living Services was formed.
In that same year, Residence East approached Alpha Supported Living Services to provide management consultation services while the agency was without an Executive Director and other key personnel. The agency had a similar history with the first group home, Bellevue Group Home, opening in 1978. At the end of 2007, the Board of Directors of Residence East approached Alpha Supported Living Services with the desire to merge with and into Alpha Supported Living Services. This merger went into effect on January 1, 2008 with Alpha Supported Living Services being the surviving corporation in the merger. At that time, the agency was providing services to over 80 individuals with developmental disabilities living in homes in Seattle, Shoreline, Bellevue, and Issaquah.
Individuals supported by the agency encompass a wide spectrum of individuals with developmental disabilities. Some individuals are fairly independent, maintain jobs in the community and require general assistance, while others have physical disabilities that require significant assistance with personal care. In addition, several individuals face unique challenges in communication. Three individuals are legally deaf, while several others are non-verbal. Forms of communication utilized include American Sign Language (ASL), gestures, pictures, and other non-verbal methods. In order to meet these special needs, the agency employs some staff who are deaf and use ASL as their primary means of communication. All staff are encouraged to take part in ASL training so that everyone can speak the same language.
Even with the expansion of the agency and recent referral of young adults with the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, the agency continues to have a well-deserved reputation for serving individuals for many years, if not all of their adult life. In fact, the agency continues to provide support to several individuals who were founding members of the four original group homes previously mentioned. As such, many individuals have been served for over 20-30 years. This commitment to continuity and quality of care is a hallmark of the agency.
In addition to the supported living and group home services provided by the non-profit corporation, Alpha Bookkeeping Services operated as a for-profit corporation and offered bookkeeping, payroll and cost report services for other residential providers beginning in 1993. In 2007, the for-profit corporation ceased operations and the service was combined into the non-profit corporation, Alpha Supported Living Services.