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.
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.
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.
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 is accredited by CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitative Facilities) for the first time.
The Camino Real Thrift Shop opens in Belen. Today, the shop, now in Los Lunas, is known as Bargain Square Thrift Store.
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.
The Camino Real group home opens.
Adelante Industries begin packaging and shrink wrapping services.
Specialized Behavior Management Services begin.
Adelante & Camino Real merge.
Supported Employment Services begins and the first job placement occurres in September 1987. Today the program is called EmployAbility.
Bargain Square Thrift Store opens a new site.
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.
For the first time in 1988, Adelante Industries earns over $100,00 in revenues in one year.
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.
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
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.
Adelante receives the National Award of Excellence by the Accreditation Council on Services for People with Disabilities. Only one award is given per year.
The Community Options program begins in Valencia County and triples in size.
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.
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.
Adelante Janitorial Services cleans 52 buildings on Kirtland AFB and employs 45 workers. This is the agency’s first major NISH contract.
Adelante Supported Employment found jobs in the community for 66 people.
Senior Services receives funding from the Albuquerque Community Foundation.
A Community Development Block Grant funds construction and major upgrades at Bargain Square creating 20 new jobs.
Adelante Mailing Services has its grand opening at the facility on Carlisle.
Four supported homes are added to the agency’s Community Living Program.
Adelante is the American Marketing Association’s Nonprofit Marketer of the Year.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. During this time, the social enterprise has over 900 customers and employs 43 people with disabilities.
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.
Adelante begins managing the Back in Use program for the state and collects and recycles 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.
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.
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.
On February 27, 2013 Adelante celebrated its 35th anniversary. Employees and clients around the agency celebrated by wearing Adelante red and signing a large ’35’ to commemorate this milestone.
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!
National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) was created to increase awareness about employment for people with disabilities. In October, 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!
Adelante hosts a dinner/dance fundraiser called “Baile, Baile, and Rebuild” to help rebuild and re-stock the Belen Bargain Square Thrift Store on February 1, 2014 at the Moose Lodge in Belen.
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.
Adelante began operating Senior Meals Services of Dona Ana County in April 2014.
Adelante began operational support of the Storehouse, New Mexico’s Largest Food Pantry.
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. The new enterprise is called Adelante Mailing and Fulfillment Center.
On July 17, 2015 Adelante celebrated the Grand Re-Opening of the Bargain Square Thrift Store in Belen.
Adelante Community Options participants volunteered a combined total of over 13,000 hours this year.
Adelante receives Albuquerque Business First’s 2015 Non-Profit of the Year Human Services Award.
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. It is also a recipient of the Great Grant Giveaway event organized by the Albuquerque Community Foundation.
Adelante Bulk Printing and Mailing opens. It is an extension of Mailing and Fulfillment Center located at the facility on Carlisle.
The first Project SEARCH class graduates in May. The Presbyterian Rust Medical Center Project SEARCH program is 36 weeks long and provides skills training and workplace internships for high school students ages 18-22 with disabilities. Students complete certification training and three different rotations in areas such as food and nutrition, patient transport, administration and security.
Adelante begins managing New Mexico AIDS Services.
On February 23, 2018, Adelante celebrate 40 years of supporting the community by taking a group photo outside of the main office.
Adelante begins operation of it’s first Senior Assisted Living home.
Adelante Back in Use splits into two programs. The first is still called Back in Use and is co-located at GiveABQ. This program refurbishes donated durable medical equipment and gives it to people with disabilities in need. The second is called DiverseIT. This program refurbishes donated laptops and desktops and gives them to local nonprofits and people with disabilities.
In January, GiveABQ’s Grand Opening is held.
DiverseIT expands to a new storefront at our San Mateo site. Service offerings now include group training, as well.