The Opportunity Center was founded in 1965 by parents and civic organizations dedicated to improving the lives of adults with mental and physical challenges. In those days society offered few services to adults with mental and physical challenges after graduation from high school. These young adults usually languished at home regressing in their development as anxious parents searched in vain for suitable day time programs. To address this important social need, The Opportunity Center first opened its doors in a small, borrowed space. In 1975 we purchased and moved into a large house in Fair Lawn, New Jersey which we expanded in 1985. While the program, the personnel and the clients may have changed since 1965, the love, dedication and commitment of the directors, staff and volunteers who seek to provide a caring and supportive environment and promote the growth and fulfillment of individuals with mental and physical challenges remains unchanged.
This private, non-profit center is open all year with the goal of providing a life-enriching day program that currently serves about 25 clients with a broad range of disabilities including autism, mental disabilities, Down Syndrome and cerebral palsy. Regardless of the type of mental or physical challenge, the staff at The Opportunity Center is committed to the enrichment of our client’s lives and the development of each client’s full potential. The Opportunity Center provides a supportive and welcoming environment with opportunities for its participants to feel useful, needed and wanted. With the support of a dedicated and caring staff, along with volunteers, parents, directors and friends, our clients are able to grow, learn, become more productive and achieve greater independence at home and in their communities.
While the Opportunity Center is primarily funded by tuition, it would be impossible to make ends meet and still provide the high quality program we aspire to without the generosity and compassion of a great many local civic organizations, businesses and governmental agencies.