Who founded Victory Living Programs?
Victory Villas, Inc. was founded in 1974 by Gloria Vaden. This newspaper editor and community activist was highly motivated to offer her son, who had a developmental disability, a more independent way of life.
Supported Independent Living Begins
Unsatisfied with Florida’s state institutions, Ms. Vaden purchased a single-family home in Fort Lauderdale for her son and others who had developmental disabilities. Understanding their need to acquire life skills, she arranged for family members to come by the home daily to provide the support, training and guidance the gents needed to live independently.
Recognition and Growth
Shortly after establishing its 501(C)(3) non profit status in 1975, Victory Villas, Inc. received recognition and funding from the State of Florida in 1977. Then, in 1984, the Development of Housing and Urban Development funded the construction of a brand new apartment complex in Dania Beach, Florida that could house up to 24 individuals.
Over the years, Victory Villas changed and grew as dictated by the needs of the community and the population served. Victory Villas, Inc. soon became Victory Living Programs, Inc., and the group home was sold as Victory Living Programs moved to a more inclusive approach through the expansion of the Supported Living Program.
The scope of services and programs changed along with the organization. Current services include: supported living, personal supports, employment programs including: pre-placement training program/be ready, self-advocacy training, employment services, and supported employment, community inclusion/adult day training, and social/recreational program.
What’s in a Name?
In 1996, the Victory Villas, Inc. name was changed to Victory Living Programs, Inc. Today, Victory Living Programs is accomplishing all that Gloria Vaden had dreamed of and more! As a well-respected and valued organization in South Florida, Victory Living Programs has made a more independent life a reality for the more than 10,000 clients the organization has served.