Adelante History

1978 - Adelante is founded and services begin

Adelante is officially founded as a nonprofit in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on February 23, 1978, by a group of parents who were focused on the ideas of independence, rights, choice, and respect for people with disabilities. At that point in history, society saw a person’s disabilities in rehabilitation terms only, thus often failing to pay attention to an individual’s capabilities or interests. In February 1978, the organization was named La Familia, but before November 1978 when services actually started, the name changed to The Teaching Home. The organization at the time offered educational and vocational training in a home environment for six men with autism who lived in the home where they received services. The initial budget was $64,000 a year.


1980 - Camino Real Opens & Teaching Home Expands

Camino Real opened on January 1, 1980 in Belen, New Mexico. It was an agency that had a similar philosophy and offered services for people with disabilities that later became part of Adelante. In July 1980, the Teaching Home program supported 20 people with disabilities.

1981 - Teaching Home & Camino Real Begin to Merge

The name changed in April 1981 to better reflect the agency’s purpose. Adelante, which means ‘forward’ in Spanish was chosen because it reflected our vision of helping people with disabilities to make progress in their lives and to work toward their personal goals. The two emerging agencies, Adelante and Camino Real, began to share support staff and a CEO. Also in 1981, Adelante began to focus more on day services and vocational training, and transferred the residential services to ARCA, another disability provider specializing in housing.

1982 - Adelante Business Services Begin & We Earn Accreditation by CARF

Adelante Industries start their first big contract on August 1, 1982, opening the first of many social enterprises at the agency. We offered services for local businesses in an effort to employ people with disabilities. Also in August 1982, Adelante became accredited by CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitative Facilities) for the first time.

8/14/1983 Camino Real Thrift Shop Opens

The Camino Real Thrift Shop opens in Belen. Today, the shops are known as Bargain Square Thrift Stores.

8/14/1984 Adelante receives funding from United Way

Adelante receives funding from United Way allowing us to support people with more severe disabilities – including medically fragile individuals. We officially become a United Way agency and are thankful for their support for many years. We also open the Camino Real group home. Adelante Industries begin packaging and shrink wrapping services.

8/14/1985 Specialized Behavior Management Service

Specialized Behavior Management Services begin.

8/14/1986 Adelante & Camino Real merge.

Adelante & Camino Real merge.

9/1/1987 Supported Employment Services begins

Supported Employment Services begins and the first job placement occurres in September 1987. Today the program is called EmployAbility. Bargain Square Thrift Store opened at a new site.

9/1/1988 CaseLink is Developed

CaseLink, a computerized client management system, is developed and goes into operation. Today the service is web-based, allowing staff all over the state can access it through a secure site online. Also, for the first time in 1988, Adelante Industries earns over $100,00 in revenues in one year.

12/1/1992 Jackson Lawsuit

Adelante expands rapidly as the Jackson lawsuit against the state of New Mexico releases people with disabilities from institutions and into their communities. In December 1992, Adelante TechWorks sponsored an Assistive Technology Expo at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

1/1/1993 Working in Adelante Industries

112 people with disabilities are working in Adelante Industries; 32 people are working in supervised work crews; and 46 people are working at job placements in the community as part of Adelante Employment Services

1/1/1994 Council Accredited

Adelante is the first New Mexico provider accredited in the outcomes process by the Council. The agency is one of only seven in the country that earned a 3-year status on the first try.

1/1/1995 National Award of Excellence

Adelante receives the National Award of Excellence by the Accreditation Council on Services for People with Disabilities. Only one award is given per year.

1/1/1996 Valencia County

The Community Options program begins in Valencia County and triples in size.

1/1/1997 Last state-run institution closes

The last state-run institution closes in New Mexico. Adelante is selected by a quarter of the people leaving the State system and entering their communities. In addition, Adelante Industries handled 1,625 contracts with over 250 companies and the agency receives the Quality New Mexico Piñon Award for commitment to quality principles.

1/1/1998 NISH Contract

Adelante Janitorial Services cleans 52 buildings on Kirtland AFB and employs 45 workers. This is the agency’s first major NISH contract.

1/1/1999 Community Development Block Funding

Adelante Supported Employment found jobs in the community for 66 people. Senior Services begins funding from the Albuquerque Community Foundation and a Community Development Block Grant funding construction and major upgrades at Bargain Square creating 20 new jobs.

1/1/2000 Nonprofit Marketer of the Year

Four supported homes are added to the agency’s Community Living Program. Adelante is the American Marketing Association’s Nonprofit Marketer of the Year.

1/1/2001 Desert Harvest Begins

Adelante Desert Harvest begins rescuing food from local restaurants and grocers in an effort to provide volunteer options for people with disabilities and to help New Mexico battle one of its more persistent social issues, hunger. During the year, the program collected about 5,000 pounds of food per month

1/1/2002 Medicaid Personal Care Option Provider

Community Options Program expands to Rio Rancho. Adelante is approved to be a Medicaid Personal Care Option Provider and launches the program the following spring.

1/1/2003 ISO 9001:2000

Adelante is among the very first nonprofits in the United States to be recognized for compliance to ISO 9001:2000, an international quality standards program; Adelante Document Destruction Services opens.

7/1/2005 Continued Expansion

Staff members move to new main location, El Centro, on Osuna Boulevard in Albuquerque. El Centro houses the supported employment, community living, nursing, fundraising, human resources, facilities, marketing, and the finance departments of the agency. In July 2005, Adelante takes over the dormitory services contract at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC). The agency expanded to include Los Lunas in 2005, including a new Bargain Square Thrift Store location and Los Lunas Community Options, which opened in August and September, respectively.

1/1/2006 Creative Hands

Adelante begins operation of Creative Hands, a day habilitation program in Taylor Ranch, and adopts four new homes into our Community Living program in Albuquerque. These transitions were a result of ResCare, a for profit organization, ending operations in New Mexico.

1/1/2007 Arts & Animals

Adelante begins offer art as a full-time program. Adelante’s Arts & Animals offers a unique combination of fine art and animal-related programming at the same site, providing therapeutic benefits for people with disabilities.

1/1/2008 San Mateo Site Opens

Adelante celebrates 30 years as a nonprofit agency supporting people with disabilities with an open house at the San Mateo site in Albuquerque. At the event, the site was dedicated to a long-term employee and renamed the Al Friedman Center. Adelante Document Destruction celebrates its fifth year in business. The social enterprise had over 900 customers and employed 43 people with disabilities in 2008.

9/1/2009 Document Imaging Begins

Adelante Document Imaging begins as the agency’s newest social enterprise offering scanning services to local businesses and governmental entities. The Albuquerque Aktion Club, a social service club for people with disabilities, forms in conjunction with the Kiwanis Club of Albuquerque. Bargain Square Los Lunas becomes the first of Adelante’s thrift stores to surpass $30,000 in sales in one month during September 2009.

1/1/2010 Back in Use Program

Adelante takes over the Back in Use program from the state and begins to collect and recycle assistive devices for seniors and people with disabilities who otherwise may not have been able to afford them. Bargain Square wins the American Marketing Association Award for print advertising and Maria Cordova, an Adelante employee, wins a national ANCOR award as the Direct Support Professional of the Year. The senior program expands to a new site and becomes Adelante Compadres Senior Center.

10/1/2011 New Community Living Home

Adelante opens a new Community Living home in Albuquerque. Bargain Square Los Lunas becomes the first of Adelante’s thrift stores to exceed $40,000 in sales in one month during October 2011.

1/1/2012 Secure Document Center

Adelante opens a new Community Living home in Albuquerque. The Secure Document Center opens on First Street, combining Adelante Document Destruction and Adelante Document Imaging into one high security site.

2/27/2013 Adelante Celebrates 35th Year Anniversary

On February 27, 2013 Adelante celebrated its 35th year anniversary. Employees and clients around the agency celebrated by wearing Adelante red and signing a large ’35’ to commemorate this milestone.

6/21/2013 Adelante Thanks Fire Fighters Who Assisted with Belen Fire

Adelante held a community appreciation event and donation drive on June 21, 2013 in Belen near Adelante’s Bargain Square store. Adelante recognized several exceptional community members in appreciation for their support after the Belen Bargain Square store caught fire at the end of May. Thank you to everyone who continues to support Adelante and our mission to help people with disabilities acheive their goals!

10/1/2013 Adelante Recognizes Business During National Disability Employment Awareness Month Who Provide Employment Opportunities for Adults with Disabilities

National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) was created to increase awareness about employment for people with disabilities. Adelante recognizes a companies throughout our community that have made an exceptional impact on employment for the individuals we support. We appreciate everything you do!

2/1/2014 Baile Baile and Re-Build

Adelante is hosting a dinner/dance fundraiser to help rebuild and re-stock the Belen Bargain Square Thrift Store from 6 to 11 pm February 1, 2014 at the Moose Lodge in Belen (19482 Hwy 314). Adelante has been supporting people with disabilities in New Mexico for over 35 years and Bargain Square has been a key part of that effort in Belen. The store provided jobs for people with disabilities and a gathering place for people to find affordable clothing, household items, baby goods, and furniture. Tickets to the fundraiser are $15 per person and they include a Mexican food dinner, side dishes, dessert, dancing, and door prizes. We will also have a silent auction and bake sale to help raise money. Two local bands are donating their playing time to support us (Kevin Chavez Band and Grupo Impresion) so wear dancing shoes! Proceeds will help Adelante re-build and stock the Belen Bargain Square, which we are hoping to re-open in late fall of 2014. You can buy tickets at the reception desks of our two administrative buildings (El Centro in Albuquerque and 414 Reinken in Belen) as well as from the Bargain Square store in Los Lunas. If you know people or businesses that would like to donate items to the silent auction, let us know. For more information contact Jill Beets at (505)449-4026 or JBeets@GoAdelante.org

2/28/2014 Benefits Connection Center

On February 28, 2014, Adelante’s Benefits Connection Center officially began connecting low income seniors and people with disabilities to government benefits programs such as SNAP, LIHEAP, Medicare Part D, and Medicaid. The BCC opened thanks to a grant from the National Council on Aging.

4/1/2014 Senior Meals Services

Adelante began operating Senior Meals Services of Dona Ana County.

5/1/2014 The Storehouse

Adelante began operational support of the Storehouse, New Mexico’s Largest Food Pantry. The Storehouse serves over 75,000 people each year.

1/30/2015 Mailing & Fulfillment Center

On January 30, 2015, Adelante’s Mailing Services and Assembly Services and Packaging co-located in a larger, newer facility to better serve customers and open up opportunities for future growth.

7/17/2015 Bargain Square Belen Re-Opens

On July 17, 2015 Adelante celebrated the Grand Re-Opening of the Bargain Square store in Belen.

9/17/2015 Benefits Connection Center Expands

Thanks to a grant from Walmart, the BCC now serves low-income people of all ages.

9/17/2015 Non-Profit of the Year

Adelante receives Albuquerque Business First’s 2015 Non-Profit of the Year Human Services Award.

1/1/2016 Wellness Referral Center Opens

Thanks to the BUILD Health grant, the Wellness Referral Center works to connect the gap between the doctor and patient to help patients manage chronic disease.

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Call 505.341.2000 or email info@goadelante.org