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Provide citizens with disabilities with the support they need to lead full and meaningful lives.
Kokua is a Hawaiian word that means to cooperate, to assist, to support. Our name is reflective of our philosophy, namely that all persons should be acknowledged and respected regardless of ability level. Kokua was founded as a for-profit corporation in 1990 and has been a DDD (Division of Developmental Disabilities) contracted provider of residential services since that time. In 1997, Kokua reorganized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit with the intention of providing services beyond the scope of state funding. Kokua is dedicated to improving opportunities for Thurston County citizens with disabilities. It is our belief that the community benefits when all of citizens fully participate in community life. In 2001, Kokua began sponsorship a small disabilities rights group made up of local self advocates. The group, now called the 8thAvenue Advocates, has grown to a membership of 20 individuals. The group focuses on legislative advocacy, public education and personal empowerment. We are proud to be able to benefit the wider community through the work of the 8th Avenue Advocates. Kokua has earned a reputation as an innovative, collaborative organization that actively advocates for the rights of individuals with disabilities. In 2001, Kokua received the Morningside Award for Outstanding Residential Provider. In 2002 Kokua received a certificate of appreciation from Governor Gary Locke for all our help and effort on behalf of people with special needs. In 2006, Kokua opened its doors and arms with a Volunteer and Internship Program. Our hope through this program to help the individuals we serve to make lasting friendships with other members of the community. We endeavor to link the individuals we serve with an identified interest with volunteers who share similar interests. Currently Kokua serves 54 individuals living in Thurston County in a variety of different living situations. Individuals may choose to live alone, to live with a roommate or to share a home with two or three roommates. Kokua uses a flexible approach to tailor our supports to the needs of the individual.