Hattie Larlham is a nonprofit organization that provides care to 1,500 children and adults with developmental disabilities. This mission of caring for people with developmental disabilities began when founder Hattie Lena Gadd Larlham took a neighbor's child who was born with inoperable hydrocephalus into her home to provide care. Word spread about what she was doing, and the demand for care led her to take more children into her home. Before long, she had a waiting list of 100 children, leading her to form the Hattie Larlham Foundation.
Today, the organization provides residential care to 130 children and young adults at the Hattie Larlham Center for Children with Disabilities in Mantua, Ohio, and to adults at community-based homes located throughout Ohio.
Hattie Larlham operates coffee shops called Hattie's Café & Gifts that provide employment to people with developmental disabilities. To the employees, their work is more than a job. It is an opportunity for them to empower their lives. Their employment gives them a sense of purpose and helps them build self-esteem.
Each café offers fair trade coffee, fresh baked goods, sandwiches and gifts. Some of the café's most popular products are its gift baskets. Many of Hattie's Café & Gifts' baskets, baked goods and coffees are available for sale online.
Hattie's Café & Gifts locations include Hudson, downtown Akron and the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
The Bakery at Hattie's Café & Gifts in Akron, which produces the bakery items sold at Hattie's Café & Gifts locations in Northeast Ohio. The bakery features a storefront that sells grab-and-go lunches, baked goods and gifts.
Hattie's Doggie Day Care & Boarding is a cage-free pet boarding operation that provides employment to people with developmental disabilities interested in pursuing a career in animal care. Job coaches work with the employees with developmental disabilities to teach them to care for the dogs. The employees gain self confidence and improve their social and communication skills through their jobs duties. Hattie's Doggie Day Care & Boarding prides itself on providing individualized attention to each dog.
Hattie's Doggie Day Care & Boarding locations in the Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, areas are a home away from home for dogs. Each location offers full-service, professional dog grooming, as well as a retail area.
Hattie Larlham Creative Arts works with professional artists, called trackers, and young artists with developmental disabilities at Hattie Larlham to create compelling works of art. Trackers work with the artists using a dialogue of yes or no questions to uncover each artist’s creative choices such as color, shape, location and texture. The trackers remain neutral during the process to ensure that only the vision of the artist is expressed. The program gives participants the opportunity to work in a number of artistic disciplines, including painting, photography, sculpting, music, poetry and more.
Much of the artwork made by artists with developmental disabilities is available for sale, with the proceeds going directly to the artist.
Hattie’s Garden is a Hattie Larlham vocational program that teaches adults with developmental disabilities sustainable agriculture and how to grow chemical-free produce. Working with Hattie Larlham job coaches, employees learn to garden, safely use tools, water plants and cultivate seedlings. The program also focuses on the benefits of a healthy diet.
The Play Center at Hattie Larlham is a place where children and families who receive services from Hattie Larlham as well as members of the community are encouraged to play and interact. Some of Hattie Larlham’s popular camps for children with developmental disabilities are held at The Play Center. The Play Center is also a community resource for parties and field trips.
Hattie's Preschool is a fun and social environment for children without disabilties from the community to play and grow.
Hattie's Vending employs people with developmental disabilities. The vending company employees load carts with products, fill vending machines, check the dates of items in the machines to make sure they are fresh and ensure the machines are properly functioning.
The company services nearly 100 vending machines in Akron, Ohio, and surrounding areas. The vending machines are leased in collaboration with AVI Foodsystems, Inc.
Constant Companions focuses on the mutually beneficial interaction between people with disabilities and various domestic animals such as cats, rabbits, birds and fish. These animals are used as teaching aids to encourage participants to nurture and learn about the animals in their care.
Hattie Larlham employment planning services and organizational employment services programs are CARF accredited.