In 1987 the Council on Aging for Southeastern Vermont recieved money from the State to conduct a feasibility study and plan an Adult Day program in the Brattleboro area to serve Windham County.
In 1989 The Gathering Place (TGP) opened it's doors as a program of the Council on Aging for Southeastern Vermont (COASEV). The first center opened with two (2) staff, and served six (6) families three (3) days a week.
By 1990 the center was serving twenty-six (26) families and had an average daily census of 6.5. By 1992 TGP had grown and was serving 45 families and averaging 10.2 participants per day. The growth continued and in 1993 TGP incorporated as a stand-alone 501(c)(3).
TGP spent its early years operating out of the recreation room at Hilltop House. With steady growth in FY 2000 TGP moved to Brattleboro West Plaza, sharing a facility with C&S Wholesalers. The Board and the staff recognized that the growth would continue and began planning the next move with hopes of a TGP owned facility.
In October 2001, that dream became a reality when TGP purchased its present site in Brattleboro from the Eagles. The lovely 1800s Victorian building located on 30 Terrace Street was purchased was financed through an Adult Day expansion grant from the State of Vermont and a low-interest mortgage from the USDA.
For the building to be suitable for our current participants and ready the program for the future a major renovation was necessary. The renovation was generously funded through a USDA grant and a matching grant from the Thompson Trust— the match came from local businesses and community members and "in-kind" donations from the board, staff and volunteers to to lessen the construction costs. TGP proudly moved into its own facility in March 2002.
The year 2012 marked the ten (10) year anniversary in our current location. That achievement brought with it the need to again update and upgrade some interior features and facility systems. While the project was completed by the close of that year a devistaing loss of 60% of the building due to water damage in 2015 took us back to the drawing board.
The good news? The damage fast tracked a significant expansion that was in the preliminary planning stages. In true Vermont style the Board, staff and community leapt into action. With the private financial support of a multitude of committed community members, equipment donations and grants from Tarrent Foundation, Thompson Trust, VT Community Foundation, Ellen Willard Trust, the generosity of three anonymous donors and Wesfield Construction we achieved our dream.
Our lovely 7200 square foot victorian home can now serve up to 70 folks a day. The Center boasts an open floor concept on both levels, additional personal care areas, space for therapy on 2 floors and even a 2nd floor kitchen for baking groups and rehabilitation!
The Gathering Place is fast approaching 30 years of service to Windham County and surrounding NH and MA communities. Day to day we measure our success by the smiles, laughter and sometimes tears of joy that fill our building everyday. We are grateful for so much including community recognition as the 2016 Brattleboro Chamber Member of the Year!
We celebrate every passing year and thank you one and all for achievements only made possible by you!