“Camp Courage” became a facility for residential and special education for mentally challenged children. The abandoned BIA boarding school complex that was comprised of one main building was used. Services consisted of custodial care in a dormitory setting and daily academic/special education in a classroom setting; much like a boarding school.
The name “Camp Courage” was changed to “Navajo Children’s Rehabilitation Center” or “Dine BAA ALCHINI NAHIILNA”. In April 1972, the agency was formally incorporated in the State of New Mexico as a private, non-profit organization. The primary focus remained on special education, Navajo cultural awareness and custodial residential care for approximately another five years. Primary funding for the agency was through the BIA and the State of New Mexico Health & Environmental Department (formerly called “Department of Hospitals and Institutions”).
The administration reviewed its current client population as well as state and nation wide trends in services for the handicapped. From this study, it became clear that the population at Navajo Children’s Rehabilitation Center was “growing older” and the “children” were rapidly becoming “adults”. It was then determined that services were needed to prepare them for the “adult world”. The facility was re-named “Coyote Canyon Rehabilitation Center, Inc.” to reflect that change in orientation and the change over process to an adult service model began. The model chosen for adult services was one that emphasized “Independence and Self-Sufficiency” for handicapped persons as opposed to the orientation of “caring for” or “doing for” the client. This necessitated many changes in the program structure as well as the redesigning of buildings and general environment. In the day-time programming, the most striking changes were the addition of vocational training and employment services and the de-emphasis of an academic classroom model. The first step taken to make this change was a cooperative agreement with the McKinley Area Services for the Handicapped (MASH) program in Gallup, New Mexico. Several clients were bussed into Gallup for one each week where they would work doing janitorial duties, or processing wood for resale
CCRC began to develop a janitorial training program on-site. CCRC applied for and received a Work Activities Center certificate from the Department of Labor. An agreement was made with A School for Me, Inc. in Tohatchi, New Mexico. This program also was faced with implementing services for persons who were reaching “adulthood.” This joint operation agreement provided for and the sharing of resources for the operations of the Day Services Program. The Day Services Program continued to expand over the next few years. The janitorial program began to obtain contracts with public and private corporations in Window Rock, Arizona and Crownpoint, New Mexico. CCRC applied to the HUD-Menninger Foundation to build two group homes for clients to live in. Due to the time frame of the application process and the actual construction of building these two homes, the need to improve current living conditions of the dormitory was underway. The renovation converted the dormitory wings into self-contained “apartments,” complete with a kitchen, living room, bedrooms, and restrooms. In this setting, individuals would be taught self-care skills, cooking skills, laundry skills, domestic tasks and socialization skills in a smaller group setting.
A sheltered workshop certificate was obtained from the Department of Labor to reflect the higher skill level of the clientele.
Two Hogan(s) were opened by CCRC on the compound to provide semi-independent living environments. One Hogan housed three (3) women and the other four (4) men. It was perceived that these two Hogans would be environments to transition clients from CCRC back into the community or home setting. Clients living in these Hogans were supervised only on a “check-up” basis and were expected to learn to independently take care of their personal needs as well as manage the household. Also coinciding with the development of the semi-independent program was the initiation of “Homebound Services”.
The purpose of the Homebound Service was:
The Homebound Instructor arranged weekly visit to the individual’s home and provided training to the individual and the family so that they were able to work with their handicapped family member.
The Memorandum of Agreement with A School for Me dissolved. The woodwork program was discontinued shortly thereafter. However, CCRC continued to keep the vocational training services and expanded work options. Severely disabled clients were involved in a paid wage according to a piece rate for manufacturing cable for TV, pens, craft items, campaign/novelty buttons, as well as small recycling projects. Ancillary services were added to enhance client programming: Speech, Occupational, Physical, and Behavioral Therapy. Academic Services were still provided, but the focus was on providing functional academic skills as they related to survival in the community or on the job, such as money management, use of community resources, etc. Recreational skill training was also added to the Day Services program. The Residential service underwent remarkable changes since 1977. Clients were housed in dormitories, girls in one wing and boys in the other wing. Meals were provided in a cafeteria setting in a separate building. Group activities were held in one large room called the “day room”. Administration made a decision to provide a more “home-like” environment where clients could be trained to manage their own household and personal needs to the best of their abilities.
Two (2) HUD-Menninger homes were opened for occupancy under a lease agreement with the Navajo Housing Authority. Twelve (12) severely disabled men and women moved into the homes located near the Coyote Canyon Chapter House, across the road from the main compound. The application for a twelve (12) occupant HUD 202 Group Home to be located in Crownpoint, NM was submitted. This home would be earmarked for the “higher functioning” individuals. Funding access was made available for several DD individuals through Title XIX of the Social Security Act on the Medicaid Waiver Program.
Funding resources changed and expanded. In FY 1981, through Public Law 94-638, the Navajo Tribe Division of Social Welfare assumed the contracting responsibilities and funding formerly held by the BIA. The Navajo Vocational Rehabilitation program has been referring clients on a fee for service basis since 1982, aside from the grant given to the program to start up the food service program. Since 1981, the State of New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation was being supported on a fee for service basis. In 1982, CCRC received its first grant from United Way of McKinley County and has received the grant annually.