Life Bridges began with a desire by several families in the Cleveland community to receive services for local citizens with a developmental disability. In the early 1970’s, to get services a person had to travel to the Orange Grove Center in Hamilton County. First chartered in 1973, the Adult Day Center was started in Cleveland, Tennessee. Since that time, the program has undergone many changes, and has had several names.
Though very small in the beginning, from the onset BCS benefited from strong leadership, both from its’ staff and the board of directors. Walter Hunt joined the agency as Executive Director in 1980 and served in that position for 26 years. Under Walt’s direction BCS flowered into what it is today, serving nearly 200 service recipients in over 40 facilities. With more than 400 staff, 3 onsite physicians, and 40 licensed nurses, we are positioned to expand to meet the future needs of Bradley County; in particular, those who are medically fragile and the senior population.
A major milestone occurred in October 1991 when BCS moved to its current location on 764 Old Chattanooga Pike, SW, Cleveland, Tennessee. The 8.7 acres houses the Administrative Office, Civitan Center for Developmental Training, and the Walter C. Hunt Opportunity Center. Another achievement occurred in 1994 when BCS became nationally accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).
Life Bridges is one of two agencies Statewide funded by DMRS that is nationally accredited. Life Bridges has recently built 2 new ICF homes located on 7 acres on Kile Lake Rd that serves 8 individuals.