Our History

How it All Started

In the 1970s, vocational training was offered at the far end of Palm Beach County. Due to the distance, families in Boca Raton and nearby areas found it difficult to send their family members there. In 1973, 12 acres of land on Boca Rio Road was donated by the Palm Beach County Commission. This was the beginning of the Habilitation Center for the Handicapped, Inc. (HabCenter).

The funding for the building was provided by contributions from families, area residents, and governmental agencies. Finally, in October 1978, the HabCenter opened its doors to all adults with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities.

Since then the HabCenter has been accomplishing its mission – equip people with the knowledge, skills and behaviors needed to lead useful and productive lives with dignity, respect and independence – because of all the support from all of our dedicated board members, staff, interns, volunteers, families, friends, funding and donors.

Present Day

HabCenter serves adults with lifelong developmental and intellectual disabilities. The Center provides a full-time day program of comprehensive services (including mental/behavioral health, job training and placement, and educational and recreational activities) to enable clients to maximize their potential and live with fulfillment and joy. Client-centered Programs Offered at the HabCenter:

  • Supported vocational training and opportunity through two enterprises, HabCo Manufacturing or HabCenter Plant Nursery.
  • Comprehensive behavioral education and support services through our Social Services Department.
  • Comprehensive Programs in Education, Arts, and Recreation (P.E.A.R.).

HabCenter offers a fully integrated response to client needs by providing comprehensive, individually tailored vocational training, supported employment, and wrap-around services. Through these activities, clients improve mental and physical health, expand skills sets and knowledge, build friendships, and make progress towards greater independence. The Center strongly believes in – Empowering the Human Spirit and Encouraging Unlimited Potential!

Our Leadership

Bob DiRocco

Executive Director

561-886-3033

rdirocco@habcenter.org

Pam Brown

Director of Social Services

561-886-3037

pbrown@habcenter.org

Daniel Owen

Chief Financial Officer

561-886-3034

dowen@habcenter.org

Susan C. Rode

Director of Advancement

561-886-3029

srode@habcenter.org

Joe Rengen

Operations Manager

561-886-3030

jrengen@habcenter.org

       Board of Directors

Steve Pollart

President

Barbara Cambia

Vice President

Mindy Sloane Shikiar

Treasurer

Katie Miller Busch

Secretary

Norman Ackerman

Disability Advocate

Justin Vassi

Director

September Millar

Director

Cindy Walker-LaRoche

Advisory Committe

Professional Affiliations

  • United Way of Palm Beach County
  • United Way of Broward County
  • State of Florida, Agency for Persons with Disabilities
  • Interagency Council on Disabilities, Palm Beach County
  • Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce
  • Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce
  • South Florida Manufacturers Association NISH/Ability One
  • TechAmerica
  • Workforce Alliance
  • Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance
  • Tower Forum of Broward County
  • Palm Beach Golf Course Superintendents Association
  • Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association
  • Community Associations Institute
  • South Florida Golf Course Superintendents Association
  • Localecopia

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