Founded in 1986, Creative Living is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of developmentally disabled individuals. Creative Living was founded by Rosalie Ruggiero and Dr. Larry Larsen with the support of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. At the time of Creative Living's founding, Mrs. Ruggiero had already founded both the Fidelity Homes and CLASS educational programs for persons with developmental disabilities. We were approved by the IRS for 501 (c) (3) status on March 24th, 1987. We purchased the land and farmhouse at 368 South Main Street in Andover in 1988, and have been using it ever since for programs in support of our mission. Creative Living is a private, non-profit organization and we receive no state funding. Click here to take a virtual tour of our home.
Creative Living's mission has always been to support individuals with developmental disabilities and their families so that they can live fulfilling lives in their communities. Our constituents are individuals who are developmentally delayed, have Down Syndrome, and, increasingly, those within the spectrum of autism. Innovative social, recreational and respite solutions are developed through the work of professionals, involved families, and interested community members. An all-volunteer Board of Directors provides governance, direction and oversight.
Community involvement is an active aspect of our organization and is crucial to our ongoing success. Creative Living is very active in the community and seeks out partnerships and collaborators to broaden the world of the developmentally disabled, including their ability to access services, recreation and personal growth. Creative Living is the host organization that helped form the first chapter of Best Buddies at Merrimack College. The Deans of the Business and Education departments at Merrimack College also worked with us to refine and implement our strategic plan as well as provide student volunteers to assist with programs at Creative Living. We were also responsible for co-founding the Lutheran Creative Living, a permanent residence on our property for special needs adults which opened in January of 2006. We also work closely with members of the developmentally disabled community who have held special events at our location. A few years ago, we welcomed members of the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress for their kick-off picnic.
Accreditations and Certifications
- Quest Certification from Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services
Find Out More
Want to learn more?