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KenCCID Founding Members

KenCCID founding members (1974) signing KenCCID’s Incorporation. Seated is Mrs. Ruth Frank; Standing from left to right are Teresa Vanderwoude, Barbara Bortell, Ellie Farsteinberg and Joan Hecht

Kensington Community Corporation for Individual Dignity was conceptualized by several Philadelphia Families from the Kensington area of the city, some of whom had family members who were developmentally disabled. At the time of its founding, the era of court ordered de-institutionalization for the mentally ill into boarding homes and other unsupported environments was just beginning. Recognizing a need for services, these concerned Kensington residents worked diligently to form a non-profit corporation that would provide the quality lifestyle their loved ones deserved.

The charter for the Agency was signed in 1974, with its first Community Living Arrangement (CLA) opening in 1977.  At the time of its opening, KenCCID welcomed three individuals from families and three from the infamous Pennhurst state institution (see video). The agency designed its support under the principles of Normalization and later enhanced their services with Person Centered Planning using Personal Outcome Measures.

Since then, KenCCID has worked diligently to provide people with developmental and intellectual disabilities the skills necessary to achieve the outcomes they want in their lives. The people we support are encouraged to provide for their own self-care, become responsible citizens and live a quality life as independently as possible.

Ruth FrankRuth Frank
Wife, Parent, Founder, Advocate

Mrs. Ruth Frank is one of KenCCID’s cherished board members. She is a founder and one of the original signers of KenCCID’s Charter of 1974. She, along with her recently departed husband of 65 years, have been board members since KenCCID’s inception. Her son, Mr. Steven Frank was one of the first occupants of KenCCID’s community homes and received services until his passing in 2011. Mrs. Frank has served as KenCCID’s board president and vice president; always displaying professionalism and upholding her stance as the voice of reason in all areas, including Family and individual supports.

This amazing woman not only still serves on KenCCID’s board, but also served on the initial boards of COMHAR and of Kensington Management Services (KMS), a staffing agency that is affiliated with Comhar; she has served on the board of Developmental Disability Committee, and on the board of the Consensus Panel; a testament to her devout passion for community services and the well-being of others. Within the KenCCID organization, many of the staff and Individuals know and recognize Mrs. Frank, as they have built relationships with her over the years. She is a strong advocate of the Everyday Lives Philosophy, Individual Rights, Family Involvement and Community Involvement. Her determination in improving the lives of others is unfaltering.

Mrs. Frank possesses a strong business acumen strengthened by her years of growing and managing a family store in the Kensington area. Her youthful energy is attributed to her love of dance and exercise. Mrs. Frank’s strength, courage, passion and wisdom, is and will always be, a source of inspiration and motivation to all who are fortunate to know and love her.

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