In the late 1960’s, a group of concerned parents established a program for people with disabilities in Lebanon. The program was chartered as the Wilson County Vocational Center and moved operations into the old post office building located on East Main Street. The budget consisted primarily of a small grant obtained through the Tennessee Department of Mental Health/Mental Retardation for the benefit of approximately 8 individuals from Wilson County.
In 1974, at the end of the grant period, a new agency was established through a contract with the Tennessee Department of Human Services and the Department of Mental Retardation. The purpose of this effort was to expand services to an increasing number of Wilson County residents identified as having developmental disabilities. Many of these individuals were in need of housing; and therefore, the agency developed a residential program in the late 1970s. In 1981, under the name Prospect, the agency established early intervention services for children birth to 3 years of age who had physical, and/or developmental delays.
In the early 1990s community agencies in Smith and DeKalb Counties were forced to discontinue services and Prospect assumed operations. The program in Smith County was moved from the square in Carthage to a new building located in the industrial park located in Gordonsville. The DeKalb County program was located in a portable classroom building behind the high school and was relocated into a new facility in an industrial park in Smithville.
In 1994, Prospect implemented family support services for families who have a family member with a significant disability living at home. The intent of this program is to provide financial assistance to enable the individual with the disability to remain in the home for as long as possible.
Since 1995, Prospect has implemented job placement services in Wilson, Smith, and Dekalb counties for high school seniors and older individuals who qualify under guidelines established by the Division of Rehabilitation Services.
In 2009, Prospect implemented a Home Support Services program for aging adults and adults over 21 with a significant disability. This program allows people to receive various types of services while staying in their home, such as personal care, meal preparation, and medication reminders. Prospect’s Home Support Services program serves Wilson, Smith, Dekalb, and Trousdale counties.