The History of
Tri-County Patriots for Independent Living
Tri-County Partnership for Independent Living (TRIPIL) was a newly incorporated center formed in February, 1990, under funding from CIL Pennsylvania State Appropriations.
Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are consumer-controlled. By law (under Title VII of the Federal Rehabilitation Act), an independent living center must be free-standing and have over 51% of the board, management, and staff be persons with disabilities. There are approximately 450 CILs across the United States and many other countries have adopted the model.
In October 1996, TRIPIL received grant funding as a center for independent living under the Rehabilitation Act. TRIPIL is the only CIL in Pennsylvania to receive both State and Federal funding targeted for a CIL.
Previous to that grant, the program effort first came into existence in 1984 as a one-year Establishment Grant from the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, which was awarded to the Presbyterian Medical Center, Washington, PA. In 1985, the Medical Center terminated the project. Since the independent living philosophy preaches self-determination and empowerment, a medical or institutional setting is generally regarded as an unworkable environment for an independent living center, and this was shown to be accurate.
In July of 1986, the project and activities were revived as a satellite office of the Pittsburgh-based Three Rivers Center for Independent Living (TRCIL). As part of the TRCIL strategic plan for local control of programs, Tri-County Partnership for Independent Living became officially a separate private, non-profit corporation on July 1, 1990.
In November 1997, the CIL reorganized to become a membership-based agency, in the true spirit of consumer control inspired by the independent living philosophy. The CIL reorganized its corporate structure to one that elects the board of directors through a dues-paying membership, and the name was changed to Tri-County Patriots for Independent Living.
In 2000, TRIPIL reorganized into four non-profit corporations in order to:
- Better focus service efforts;
- Establish boards of directors that could focus on primary community impact areas;
- Standardize administrative services; and
- Obtain corporate legal rights.
In 2010, a dire need for expanded space for our programs and the ability to meet with members and consumers, led TRIPIL to initiate a capital campaign focused on building a new office headquarters. In 2012, the historic YWCA building in Washington, PA, was purchased, and will be renovated to this end.
- This history was last updated 7/29/2016.
- For a more detailed history, see here. (last updated 03/17/2014)
- TRIPIL's 20th Anniversary Event (held 7/1/2010)