Macon Resources, Inc. (MRI) has been serving individuals with developmental disabilities since 1957.
The Beginning: Progress Day School
On March 4th, 1957, Progress Day School (later renamed Progress Resource Center) held its first classes. The organization was born out of the deep concern of parents whose children did not qualify for public school programs due to their disabilities. They dreamed about a school dedicated to meeting their children’s needs. It took courage, determination, and help from others that believed in what they were trying to accomplish, and in March of 1957, Progress Day School opened at Third United Methodist Church with a staff of volunteers and 24 children. In August of 1957, the United Fund granted the organization funding to hire two professional teachers and move to their own location at 1655 N. College St.
In 1965, public schools were mandated to educate students with disabilities. Progress Day School expanded its program to include young children and adults with developmental disabilities and changed their names to Progress Resource Center. The program expanded to include a work activity center program, and a more comprehensive list of services for infants, children, and adults, and their first residential home for children, Woodford Homes.
Macon County Rehabilitation Facilities (MCRF)
In 1970, Macon County Rehabilitation Facilities was incorporated to provide rehab services to adults with disabilities. The program began with 13 adults and provided work evaluation and work adjustment training for adults. Some of the first work contracts acquired were with Wagner Casting, Firestone, Kahlua, and Caterpillar. As MCRF grew, the program began providing janitorial services, job skills training, and job-seeking skills and opened its first apartment building, Wood Street Apartments.
In 1982, MCRF acquired a contract with the State of Illinois to produce license plates. In 1983, MCRF manufactured the first plate for the state, and to this day, MRI produces all license plates for the State of Illinois.
Becoming Macon Resources, Inc. (MRI)
In January 1988, MRI was formed through the consolidation of Progress Resource Center and Macon County Rehabilitation Facilities. In June of 1991, MRI broke ground at our current location, 2121 Hubbard Ave, and by May of 1992, services were being provided in the new 100,000 sq ft. facility. Several other group homes were opened up in the 1990s, bringing the current total of group homes to nine. What began as a program that served 24 children has now grown into a program that serves over 800 infants, children, and adults with developmental disabilities in Macon County every year through providing programs and services that promote their growth, independence, and self-worth.