The need for an organization like Summertree Residential Centers, Inc. emerged with the adoption of the Parent Bill of Rights and the subsequent closing of the large institutions across Michigan. The goal became to place special needs individuals in more home-like settings with lower staff ratios to improve the quality of care received. Summertree Residential Centers Inc., a private non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization was founded May 19, 1978 to fill this need.
As we enter the new millennium, Summertree continues to expand and modify its range of services to meet current demands. A trend is that persons with developmental disabilities are looking to live with one or two companions in apartment and home settings. An initiative called self-determination is helping to facilitate this trend. Summertree has partnered with both the North Country and Northern Lakes Community Mental Health Boards to implement self-determination, leading to increased consumer independence and choice.
Currently, Summertree operates twelve licensed Adult Foster Care Facilities. We also provide an array of specialized support services in eight apartment settings along with one Habilitation Supports Waiver program at one young man’s home. Our sites are spread out over a five-county area including Charlevoix, Antrim, Kalkaska, Otsego, and Grand Traverse.
Between the late ‘70’s and mid ‘80’s Summertree operated six homes located in Boyne City, Walloon Lake, Sault St. Marie, Traverse City, Gaylord and Elk Rapids. In the mid 80’s services were discontinued to the Gaylord home, but two homes were added in Sault St. Marie. Due to difficulties of supervising such a widespread area, the homes in Sault St. Marie were eventually discontinued.
In the 90’s Summertree assumed the operations of another home in Boyne City. Subsequent homes were added in Kalkaska, Mancelona, East Jordan and Traverse City.
Summertree employs approximately 150 full and part-time staff who provide services to 65 individuals residing in licensed group homes and 15 individuals who rent or lease the apartment or home in which they live.
Each home is staffed with Direct Support Professionals who are supervised by a Home Supervisor and an Assistant Home Supervisor. Further oversight of the home is provided by four Residential Managers who have responsibility over several homes and sites.