With two parents who were devoted to community service, Neal Ouellett—founder and CEO of Living Innovations—grew up in a household where the importance of serving others was always encouraged. He became a Big Brother in his youth and always gravitated toward helping people, particularly those who are differently abled.
“Given the right support and opportunity, people with disabilities have as much to offer as any citizen,” Ouellett said. This way of thinking was the impetus for him to start Living Innovations in 1996 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Its mission of supporting people with disabilities to have a good life at home and within the community has been a staple of the organization for the last 23 years.
“Doing good in the community means helping everybody have an opportunity to take part in the community—to contribute, to have fun, to have a good home,” he said. “That’s what doing good is and that’s what we’re all about.”
Since its founding, the organization has branched out to Connecticut, Maine, and Rhode Island with 14 offices.
“I could see there was a need to help people with disabilities [to really be a part] of the community, rather than just talk about the community,” said Ouellett. Seeing this need and opportunity to get more differently abled people involved in the communities they live in, Ouellett set about building an organization that fully integrates those living with disabilities with jobs, support services, and happy and healthy social lives.
Services provided by Living Innovations range from case management and shared living to job support. One of the organization’s core values is dedicated to strengthening communities. “Where others see a disability, we see potential,” he said.
Eastern Bank has proudly partnered with Living Innovations and helped the organization fulfill its mission. The partnership has remained strong over the years, especially when it comes to supporting others. When a particular state said that it wouldn’t be able to compensate the organization for the services it was providing in a timely fashion, Eastern Bank stepped in.
“We know you, we have you covered,” Ouellett recalled what his Eastern Bank relationship manager had said to him. From providing loans to lining up mortgages, Eastern Bank has proudly bolstered the partnership and Ouellett is deeply committed to the relationship.
“They’ve met our needs. They’ve been responsive. They’re fun to work with. It’s a winning formula for both parties.”
Learn more about Living Innovations and how this New Hampshire-based organization has joined Eastern Bank to do good.