Who We Are
Opportunity Living is a licensed Intermediate Care Facility based in Lake City, Iowa (USA) with homes in both Lake City and Rockwell City. Opportunity Living is currently home to 68 clients with varying degrees of levels of care. Our clients live in community-based group homes and we provide work and activity services at our Activity Center in Lake City.
Opportunity Living is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). CARF is an independent, not for profit international accrediting body whose mission is to promote quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process that centers on enhancing the lives of the person served. Our accreditation includes Community House, Community Integration, and Organizational Employment.
Opportunity Living began in 1987 during one of Iowa’s worst agricultural crisis. Rural areas of Iowa were losing farmers and small businesses, while the resulting unemployment caused many people to move to the metro areas for jobs. The problem, for those who wanted to stay, was clear. How do you encourage people to stay while providing more employment opportunities, which in turn would raise the spirits of the people?
One day, a group of citizens came up with an idea. Why not start an organization to house and serve people with special needs? Building off the philosophy of, “when you help others, you also help yourself”. This was the philosophy that drove a group of local citizens to explore the possibilities, which led to the formation of a not-for-profit corporation and the original funding drive.
Soon after, an Executive Director was hired and block grants were secured. In April of 1989, the first ICF residential home was completed in Lake City and the first clients moved in. The integration of the clients into the community was a priority so the client homes were located in residential areas of the community, rather than a campus setting.
In November of 1988, the empty John Deere Implement building, located on the east edge of Lake City, was purchased for use as a Day Programming and Activity Center. The community of Lake City was in need of a community recreation center, so through fundraiser and coalition with the local school system the implement building was remodeled to includes a gymnasium and exercise equipment area. A major addition later on was the completion of the indoor swimming pool. After the completion of the swimming pool, Opportunity Acres was formally dedicated in November of 1990.
By May of 1991, six group homes that housed 8 clients each had been completed throughout Lake City. In September of 1991, Opportunity Living secured a Certificate of Need from the state of Iowa for 16 ICF clients in the nearby community of Rockwell City. After a fundraising drive and several grants were awarded, two group home were built and another residential home was purchased and remodeled to accommodate 16 clients. In February of 1993 all the homes in Rockwell City were operating.
Now, almost 30 years later, Opportunity Living is home to 68 ICF clients. The organization consists of 8 ICF homes and an Activity Center that is used by both the clients and public. We would love to show you around! To see the spaces in person, please call to set up a tour.