About CCLS

About us...

Our Mission

Our mission is to establish individualized community supports that will preserve and enhance the dignity and rights of those who rely on others while seeking their own level of independence.

Our Vision

We strive to be the premier provider of creative and innovative services reflecting excellence and integrity.

Our Philosophy

We believe that every person is a valuable human being, and therefore must be treated with respect and dignity. We believe that there is dignity in risk, and that risks must be taken to grow beyond the safety of preconceived limitations. We believe that all people deserve to live in and be a part of the community. We believe that the physical environment of a community program reflects the dignity and worth of the individuals who live and work there, and therefore must be well maintained. We believe that all people deserve the right to choose, guide, and / or direct the way they live. We believe that all services must operate from a solid financial base, and we will negotiate contracts that will provide adequate funding.

Our Code of Ethics

We will be guided in all of our actions by our mission, vision and philosophy. We will strive to maintain the highest standards of integrity, respect, dignity and honesty interacting with our clients, their families, professional colleagues and each other. We will keep in mind there is dignity in risk and empower our clients to achieve their greatest level of independence, balanced with their overall health, safety and well-being. We will remain diligent in our efforts to prevent abuse, neglect and/or misappropriation, will promptly investigate all allegations, and will follow through to resolve any concerns. We will maintain hiring practices designed to employ individuals of the highest quality. We will provide our employees with the knowledge and resources needed to enable them to perform their duties to the highest level of excellence. We will be fair in dealing with our employees, remaining dedicated to listening to their concerns, ideas and suggestions; addressing their concerns in a timely fashion. We will maintain financial stability through an efficient use of resources. We will maintain our position as an industry leader by continually striving towards improvement. We will advocate for political and public change that will improve the quality of life for both our clients and employees.


In 1973, four men (Jon Nelson, Jim Esmeier, John Hunt and Joe Bissen) pioneered the concept for Creative Community Living Services, Inc. (CCLS). These four shared an innovative vision that people with disabilities deserved to live in the community – not in institutions. From that vision, CCLS was created to provide community-based living arrangements for people with disabilities. CCLS was officially incorporated on October 3, 1973. Shortly thereafter, the first CCLS program opened when eight young women who had spent their lives in a state institution moved into a large house on Madison's east side. Today, CCLS serves clients in more than 20 counties, providing highly individualized programs that range from one-to-one assistance in individual homes to all forms of personalized living arrangements in community supported living, adult family homes and community based residential facilities. CCLS is one of the largest, most diverse service providers for people with special needs in the State of Wisconsin As CCLS continues strong in the age of Family Care, it is at the helm of providing the most innovative, diverse services to all in our support.

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