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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

CHAMPLAIN COMMUNITY SERVICES INC

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Human Services

Mission: Champlain Community Services provides essential supports to people with intellectual disabilities and autism, building a community where everyone participates and everyone belongs.

Results: CCS is a true grassroots success story. Founded by the family members of Vermonters with intellectual disabilities in 1967 (when few healthy options were available), CCS emerged as a nationally recognized leader in its field. Our Way2Work supported employment program has been named best in Vermont each of the past eight years, and has earned "National Best Practices" recognition from APSE: The Network on Employment.

Target demographics: support Vermonters with intellectual disabilities and autism: at work, at home, at school and in the community.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 115 individuals and families

Geographic areas served: northwest Vermont

Programs: essential one-to-one supports: in employment, through our nationally recognized Way2Work program, for high school to adult transition preparation through Bridging, home and shared living supports, and offering opportunities for meaningful community engagement.

Community Stories

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

I recently read in the Vermont Business Magazine that for the second consecutive year CCS has been chosen as one of Vermont's 51 Best Places to Work. The designation is given following extensive interviews of all staff members. I think that aptly describes the unique strength of the agency. CCS' mission is a demanding one, requiring the extreme dedication of its staff within the parameters of very modest remuneration. That the staff expresses their pleasure in that sometimes stressful working environment is remarkable. The CCS leadership promotes a committed and compassionate role model for each employee. As a result of this harmonious environment the people they serve receive the greatest possible level of support and guidance. Parents and Caregivers of those who receive services through CCS are likewise comforted by the dedicated and professional care given to their loved ones.
It is difficult to quantify but any visitor is immediately aware of a feeling of family cohesiveness among staff and those whom they support during any visit to its welcoming workplace.
CCS is a remarkably unique agency.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have attended several fund raising events benefitting Champlain Community Services. During these occasions I had the opportunity to learn more about the agency both from those who receive their services as well as interactions with the staff. These were wonderful opportunities to hear about the positive impact on the life of their consumers and the dedication of the staff. There is a tangible sense of community between both groups.
I recently read that CCS was selected as an outstanding workplace environment which reflects the enthusiasm that I have sensed from my interactions with the staff. Their morale and devotion is palpable.
During my interaction with those who are receiving services I have been impressed by the agency's dedication to the empowerment of each individual served and the emphasis upon the enhancement of their individual skills.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love that this organization treats its employees with the same heaps of love and respect with which it treats its clients. It well deserves its spot on the Best Places to Work in Vermont list.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Champlain Community Services is relentless in its mission and is driven by a passionate leadership group and staff. CCS provides important services to the individuals who make up the greater Burlington community and are leaders in the field at a national level. Vermont should be proud to be the home of such a professional and dedicated agency.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Champlain Community Services is a Specialized Service Agency in Vermont providing essential services to people with intellectual disabilities or autism. In addition to providing excellent core services of home, community and work supports, CCS excels at several focused programs.

Way2Work - a program that focuses on partnering with local businesses to show the value of employees with differences and helping with job placement and training.

School2Work - a contractual program with local high schools to prepare students with intellectual disabilities or autism for the workforce and help with job placement and training.

Bridging – a contractual program with local high schools to provide students with intellectual disabilities or autism activities to learn about community and workplace opportunities available after leaving school including arts, entertainment, recreation and jobs.

Homeward – a service matching shared living provider homes with seniors and people with physical disabilities who cannot live alone.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve had the pleasure of volunteering for CCS for a number of years. I’m always impressed by their dedication to the people they serve, and their broader, long-range goals of changing the way society as a whole includes people with disabilities. This is an outstanding agency.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Champlain Community Services is a unique agency with dedicated, compassionate and creative staff. Meeting the people involved in CCS, hearing their stories and laughter and watching them support each other through celebrations and challenges confirms the commitment everyone has to the CCS stated mission and vision. CCS contributes to making our community healthier and happier.

Kate Taylor H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

All the CCS people that I’ve ever met are wonderful—remarkably compassionate, caring, upbeat, resilient and professional. CCS is such a boon to the community, both as a stellar employer, but also as a jewel in Vermont’s crown when it comes to caretaking of vulnerable citizens. Their support and empowerment of those with intellectual disabilities is a joy to witness. Their work to make important changes within the state and nation inspires.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I cannot speak highly enough about the services CCS provides. Their staff is well trained and attentive to the needs of consumers while taking a team approach to insure all have a voice including guardians and care providers. The size of CCS allows for the perfect mix of professionalism and personal touch larger agencies cannot match.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

CCS is the “Little Engine that could.” It may not have the same level of resources as larger agencies, but the quality of service that it delivers is second to none. The staff of CCS is very committed and compassionate to the clients they serve!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Champlain Community Services, through its compassionate management and staff, provides truly invaluable, caring support to individuals and their families in need of services. It's no wonder that the people it serves speak so highly and that it was recognized this year as one of the top 50 places to work in VT!

Zoltan S.1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been on the CCS Board of Directors for nearly nine years, president the past three. Over my tenure, I have seen the organization's budget grow from about $3M to over $6M. Since we are not chasing profits, in non-profit terms, what does that mean? Simply, people want to be a part of the CCS ecosystem. As people in need of services migrate to us, we provide spiritually meaningful employment to our staff. It is remarkable: The CCS "secret sauce" (in the making over our 52-year history), is passed from generation to generation. As best we can, we insulate our employees and the people we serve from perennial State funding challenges. We consistently earn high marks from both groups. Personally, I have learned so much about inclusion and the richness folks bring to the table.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Champlain Community Services is an amazing organization that provides essential services to people with intellectual disabilities and autism. The Way 2 Work program at CCS is a national model for supported employment. Vermont is fortunate to have CCS!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've been involved with CCS for about 27 years and have seen them transform their services from a segregated sheltered workshop to a thriving agency providing excellent community-based employment and community-based services. Individuals and families receive exceptional service and benefit from a full life in the community with support as needed. CCS is very innovative and is constantly seeking ways to improve their services. They often serve as a national role model for other agencies.