Evergreen Life Services was organized in 1959 in north Louisiana as a mission of the Presbyterian Church. The ministry began when the parents of four young men with developmental and intellectual disabilities dreamed of a place where their children could live as normal a life as possible, reach for their potential and become valued, contributing members of society. The Presbyterian Church shared this important vision, and an old abandoned school building was secured in the community of Evergreen, becoming Evergreen School and serving individuals with disabilities.

2010 - Present

2016

  • Catastrophic flooding damaged several of the homes of the individuals we serve.  Over 100 staff members’ homes were flooded and damaged.
  • A building was donated in Minden, LA to Evergreen.  The North Central Louisiana Division’s social enterprise, Possibilities ~ Antiques & Collectibles, moved into the space.
  • Officially closed the doors of the North Lake Supports & Services Center, with all individuals successfully being moved into community homes.

2013

  • $85 million budget
  • Over 1,300 men and women served
  • Tax based dollars decreased by $2.5 million since 2009 and continue to decrease

2012

  • The Timeless Café & Tearoom opened in Minden, LA
  • Opened first Cultural Arts Center in Fort Worth, TX
  • Opened a Cultural Arts Center in Sherman, TX
  • Began in-kind programs to help meet the needs of Evergreen’s expanding day centers and community homes.
  • Entered an agreement with the state to assume operations of the North Lake Supports & Services Center until Evergreen is able to move all individuals off the campus and into community homes.
  • Leased the West Calcasieu Multi-Handicapped Center until we were able to move its residents, who were living in poor conditions, into community homes.
  • Opened two new divisions – West Calcasieu, North Lake

2011

  • Evergreen hires first female CEO, Sue Buchholtz
  • Vice President of Operations for the Central Region, Sharon Gomez, served as President of the National AAIDD organization

2010

  • Began providing adult services in Arkansas

 

2000s

2008

  • Krafty Kreations, a social enterprise that gives Evergreen individuals the opportunity to earn money through their art and creations opened in Ball, LA
  • Kentucky Division is opened
  • 953 individuals are served

2006

  • John Taylor becomes fourth CEO of Evergreen

2005

  • The Special Needs Trust was established for beneficiaries with disabilities, allowing him or her to enjoy the use of property that is held in the trust for his or her benefit, while at the same time allowing the beneficiary to receive essential needs-based government benefits.
  • West Tennessee Division is opened

2003

  • Purchased Sherman Developmental Center in Sherman, Texas and transitioned residents to community homes.
  • Fort Worth Community Homes are opened

2002

  • 750 men and women are served

2001

  • Middle Tennessee Division opened

2000

  • Possibilities Antique Mall opened in Minden, LA with hopes that it will help raise money and offer employment to Evergreen individuals.

1990s

1999

  • Dr. Bernard Wagner served as President of National AAMR, now known as AAIDD (American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities)
  • 450 men and women are served

1998

  • East Tennessee Division was opened

1996

  • Arkansas Division opened with children’s services

1993

  • The Evergreen Campus in Louisiana is closed.
  • Oklahoma Division and Southeast Louisiana Division were opened

1992

  • North Central Texas Division in Dallas, TX and North Central Louisiana Division in Minden, LA were opened.

1980s

1989

  • Southwest Louisiana Division in Lake Charles, LA and Northeast Texas Division in Texarkana, TX were opened.
  • 320 men and women are served

1988

  • Dr. Bernard Wagner becomes the third CEO of Evergreen.

1987

  • Opened the Central Louisiana Division

1980

  • Evergreen opened its first two community homes, both in Shreveport, LA.  Evergreen was one of the first in the state of Louisiana to open community homes.

1981

  • Vice President of Operations was hired, John Taylor

1984

  • Incorporated as Evergreen Presbyterian Ministries, Inc.

1983

  • Evergreen Vocational School and Evergreen Manor combined to become Evergreen Development Center

1970s

1979

  • 240 men and women are served

1978

  • Opened Evergreen Manor, a new living facility, on Campus
  • Started receiving Medicaid funding

1974

  • Opened the Evergreen House (Today is Providence House in Shreveport, LA)
  • Gordan Hanson employed to assist Ralyn Parkhill, then became the second CEO of the organization

1970

  • Evergreen Foundation was formed
  • First development staff hired to focus on development and church relations

1960s

1964

  • Grant of $121,000 from Women of Presbyterian Church was received.

1950s

1959

  • Evergreen Presbyterian Vocational School was incorporated
  • Evergreen started with a $15,000 budget
  • The first individuals that Evergreen served were four men with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Purchased farm and school, which became the Evergreen Campus
  • Relationship with the Synod of Louisiana began
  • Rayln Parkhill was hired as first CEO