In 1995 two women, Mary Burt and Jeanne Hamilton, turned their passion into their purpose. Mary and Jeanne, having worked with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, saw a tremendous void in the community for services and programs for people with disabilities. Together they started South Shore Support Services that would grow from providing skills training to 15 individuals with 2 employees to an agency that currently serves over 850 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and we employ 300 people living on the South Shore.
After skills training the next leap was to residential services for a young woman graduating from Crotched Mountain School in New Hampshire. With the assistance of South Shore Support Services that young woman was able to transition to her own apartment with support workers and a roommate. Individual Supports evolved from skills training to a program which currently serves over 250 individuals living on their own with varying degrees of independence.
In addition to the need for residential support the agency identified the need for family support. To meet those needs SSSS began an Adult Family Care program. Our AFC program provides support—in the form of compensation and training—that enables these caregivers to provide valuable support to loved ones in their home.
The further needs of families were met when SSSS opened the Family Support Center and Library at our Libbey St location. The Family Support Center provides families with activities and assistance in a system which can be difficult to navigate.
Although SSSS has always provided small jobs around the agency for individuals, the formal start to our vocational program began in May of 2014 with Launch in Cohasset. In 2018 we opened another site in downtown Hingham. The program is designed to create individualized vocational options based on the participants’ strengths and preferences.
To further advance the mission to provide individualized support and allow individuals to chart their own course South Shore Support took on Momentum, or Agency with Choice . This arm of the agency has by far heralded the greatest reach and growth. What started with 9 individuals has grown to over 170 in just a year's time.
Today and Beyond:
The mindset of South Shore Support Services is to be nimble, to be forward thinking, and to be innovative in meeting the needs of the individuals and the families we serve. Our agency looks at the challenges our community faces and works towards finding solutions. We seek to create a new landscape which will allow the individuals we serve to
To live a life filled with purpose, which is the purpose of life.
South Shore Support Services, Inc. is guided by the belief that the individuals we support are the directors of their plan for support services. To that end, the agency works to empower each person to make informed life choices. We support the individual's pursuit of a quality of life, which is free from self-imposed and/or external barriers. The satisfaction of the people we serve is the primary measure of our success.
In 2022 A Three-Year Accreditation was awarded to South Shore Support Services by CARF. CARF International, an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services, provides accreditation services worldwide at the request of health and human service providers.
“South Shore Support Services (SSSS) provides excellent home and community services and Adult Family Care (AFC) programs to the persons served in their family homes that are unique and person centered.”
“Leadership is committed to providing quality services and support to staff members. Persons served, families, and other stakeholders all indicated a high degree of satisfaction with SSSS.”
Every year South Shore Support Services recognizes staff members that go above and beyond in their role to service our clients. At our 15th annual golf tournament the following awards were presented:
The Jeanne Hamilton Award
Jeanne Hamilton co-founded South Shore Support Services in 1995. She had a vision of creating individualized services that met people's unique needs. All were welcomed to SSSS by Jeanne. She saw people with differing abilities, not disabilities. Jeanne made people feel wanted and valued. The award for employee of the was presented in Jeanne's honor by her daughter Jennifer and was given with gratitude to Teresia Wamaitha. Teresia Wamaitha has worked for SSSS since 2003. She started as a direct care support worker and was quickly promoted to manager because of her exceptional skills. Teresia ran one of our group homes in Milton and supported four gentlemen. When the pandemic hit, Teresia moved into the home to support those gentlemen as a live-in staff member, which greatly reduced the risk of COVID. She got them safely through those initial, high-risk months in 2020, because she stayed with them in lockdown for four consecutive months. Most recently, Teresia moved to managing our Shawmut Street home in Weymouth. An individual in that home is struggling with cancer and has recently started hospice care. Teresia is supporting him through this process. She has once again gone above and beyond in the care that she provides. We are incredibly proud of Teresia and of all her hard work during this challenging period.
The Claddagh Award
The Claddagh Award is given in memory of Maureen Keating Richard. Maureen was a lifelong advocate for those who needed support. Maureen's dedication and determination led her to 40 years in special education, individual services, and advocacy. She listened to everyone's stories and always paid attention. Maureen understood the power of words. She knew that the right ones could change things: attitudes, minds, and even the important decisions that matter most. It was with great honor that the Outstanding Advocacy Award was presented to Andrew Wall. Andrew Wall is the assistant director of the training department. His career at South Shore Support Services includes the Launch work program, job coach, skills trainer, social skills facilitator. Andrew is a consummate professional who utilizes a combination of intelligence and compassion when working with others. Andrew engages in meaningful conversations and listens to people’s stories earnestly. He is a champion of human rights, positive behavioral intervention support, and continuing education for all. He uses his verbal skills to connect with others. We thank him for his advocacy, action, and dedication and feel so fortunate to have him as a member of our community.