About Us

Onondaga Community Living, affectionately known as OCL has its office in central New York State in the city of Syracuse and provides services to adults with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities within the Syracuse area and nearby communities. OCL began its first services in 1987 when it began operating its first group home. In subsequent years OCL developed two additional group homes and began a small supported employment service. As time went on, though, OCL began to see that there was another way of doing services. Services based on one person at a time.

As the people at OCL began to know the folks who lived in the homes better, they began to realize how the very homes that the agency had developed were not working for each of the persons within them. New people also came into the agency and new services began to emerge that were based upon individual need and desire, not the needs and desires of a group. The new people who came to the agency were very happy with this personalized support service. Some of the staff and families of the people who lived in the current group homes began to envision a new way of doing support for those involved.

To make a long story short, OCL eventually went through a major organizational change that included closing two of the group homes and personalizing the supports and households for each of the person’s involved. Those at OCL had learned to listen differently to the behavioral concerns that people exhibited. Instead of trying to control someone within a group, the agency began to realize that services based upon a single person and their needs and desires would equate to a happier and more content individual. We have studied and chronicled the changes that our organization went through. We refer you to our book, “One Person at a Time” for a deeper understanding of our agency and our work on person driven services (also available as a downloadable eBook).

OCL’s purpose and mission is to listen to each person’s history and personal story and to develop the services that best meet his or her needs, whether you look to us for residential or vocational services. Each service developed is developed one person at a time. There are no vacancies in jobs, apartments or houses for you to consider. Each job, home and personal lifestyle is developed with you in mind.