Our History & Mission

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 the Launch program in Cohasset, MA. In 2018 we opened another site in downtown Hingham, MA. 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.

Collection of photographs of south shore support services individuals

Our Mission

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.

CARF Gold Seal

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 2023 Jeanne Hamilton Award for Employee Excellence went to Melissa Hixon. Melissa joined South Shore Support Services in October of 2006 and has been an integral part of our home support team. She managed residential support services for the individuals living at the Moorings in Squantum. Always one to go the extra mile, she fills in as manager at other homes, plans special vacations for and travels with those she serves, and is a champion of human rights. Melissa also successfully navigates DDS quality assurance reviews with distinction. South Shore Support Services is forever grateful to Melissa for all that she has done. As a thank-you, she was given wind chimes which were engraved with the words "Never underestimate the difference you made and the lives you touched."


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. The 2023 Claddagh Award goes to Rosemarie Rappold, who served as a board member for the past 13 years. Rosemarie tirelessly volunteered at many events and always supported the mission of SSSS. Rosemarie's brother, known to her as "Robert" but "Bob" to his friends at SSSS, urged her to join the Board of Directors, and we are glad he did. Bob worked for SSSS for over 15 years. He was an incredible teacher, advocate, and always had time for everyone we support. Bob was the quiet force behind the scene. He loved supporting young people and individuals with disabilities in following their dreams. When Bob passed away on October 5, 2015, Rosemarie kept his memory alive in the work she has done for SSSS. We are very grateful for her time, commitment, and compassion. She was honored with an award in recognition of her many years of visionary guidance, exceptional leadership, and unconditional commitment in her role on the Board of Directors.