Celebrating 60 Years of Peppermint Ridge
Peppermint Ridge History
In 1945, Bob and Mary Jeffery had a son with multiple disabilities. As he grew, they looked for services to assist them. Finding nothing that met their standard of care, they started their own program with six boys in their home in Norco, CA. Their reputation for helping the boys reach their full potential in a loving environment spread quickly and they had to expand to meet the demand.
In 1965 the First Congregational Church in Corona, a United Church of Christ (UCC) developed an interest in the program when the pastor’s son became one of the residents. An endorsement by all UCC churches in southern California resulted. A nonprofit corporation was formed which purchased the property and contracted with the Jeffery’s to continue to manage the program. There was widespread support by church members and community that resulted in many contributions and volunteer help.
By 1968, 17 boys were in residence and they had a long waiting list. A federal grant opportunity prompted the development of plans for five Community Care homes for twelve residents each on a five acre site in Corona with a price tag of close to one million dollars. The grant was applied for and approved. It would provide approximately one-third of the cost ($366,333) if that amount could be matched by Peppermint Ridge supporters. A bank loan would finance the remaining third.
In 1971 a fundraising campaign began that raised a total of $400,000 from Corona residents and members of the UCC Churches in southern California. In 1975 residents in the Norco home and people on the waiting list were moved into what continues to be the main campus at 825 Magnolia Avenue in Corona. Since 1975 Peppermint Ridge has opened six homes in the community which serve residents who need various levels of care.
As resident’s medical needs increased and the demand was present, Peppermint Ridge licensed some homes as Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF) which are designed to serve adults with more medical needs.
In the 1980’s the VIP program was launched which supports people who are able to live on their own, but need some help in areas of daily living skills such as money management, meal preparation or cultivating social relationships. Four homes were opened in the community of Corona delivering various levels of care to the residents.
Through the 1990’s and into the new millennium, additional homes were opened in the community. The on-campus home licenses were converted from a lower to higher level of care to meet the changing needs of those living at The Ridge.
In 2008, a capital campaign and a major gift from a couple made it possible to purchase Dudley Home, dedicated to serving six disabled adults with intermittent medical needs. This home opened in July of 2010.
Peppermint Ridge continues to provide quality care to its residents so that they can reach their full potential.
Today, we serve almost 100 residents in 11 homes throughout Corona. We have even more information and continue to learn about how we can best support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. With the help of some new regulations and some long-standing laws, we are excited to be able to move beyond basic care and provide community, and active citizenship, to empower these individuals to drive their own desires and goals, providing them with a greater sense of independence and fulfillment.
We have a duty to help people understand their rights and to exercise them responsibly, and to teach and support them to make good choices to the best of their abilities. It is not appropriate for us to routinely make decisions for people, regardless of their disability. Facilitated by the new Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Rule put out by the Center for Medicaid Services (CMS), we are able to support each person living in a home of their choosing, engaging in activities of their choosing, at times of their choosing. We want each person to choose with whom they live with and spend time. We want each person to have access to, and be included in, their community, participating and contributing as active citizens.