About Us

History

Community Concepts Inc. began as two separate social service agencies in Androscoggin and Oxford Counties in 1965.

The Androscoggin County Task Force on Social Welfare was incorporated in June of that year, and hired John O’Toole as its executive director. Assistant Director, Richard Hooper, was hired shortly afterwards, joining one other office staffer at the Park Hill Avenue location in Auburn. The building was owned by the City of Auburn, which donated its use to the organization. Head Start and a Neighborhood Youth Corp were the first two programs.

The Neighborhood Youth Corp helped low-income, disadvantaged youth operated for a number of years.
Head Start was a summer program operated by the school departments, which were contracted by the Task Force to run the programs. Soon after beginning, staff was hired and classrooms were rented out to support the popular program.

Meanwhile, in early 1965, several individuals organized the first Oxford County Economic Development Council, a group of county leaders who hired Arthur Gouin of Norway as the group’s first executive director.
The superior court building on Western Avenue in South Paris was the site of the small, one-room office where Gouin and one staff person worked.

The new organization discussed mental health needs, children’s needs and various projects that the communities in the service area needed.

Head Start was one of the first programs launched as a result, starting in the summer of 1966 at the Guy E. Rowe School in Norway, a classroom at the Waterford School and a classroom at the Buckfield school.
Another early development of the Oxford County Economic Opportunity Council was a Visiting Homemaker Services grant that proved to be very popular with the communities.

In early 1967 Gouin went to work for the Oxford County Extension Office and a new executive director, Robert Reny, was hired and shortly thereafter the office moved to Main Street, Norway. The name was eventually changed to Oxford County Community Services and that name remained for a number of years.

As visible members of the communities, the Task Force and Community Services consolidated resources and staff in February of 1987 and are now known as Community Concepts, Inc.

In the 20 years since the merger, Community Concepts, Inc. has grown to include over 300 employees working in nearly 40 social service programs in Androscoggin, Franklin, and Oxford counties.

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