By Valerie Vinyard
In its 45 years, Intermountain Centers for Human Development has come a long, long way.
The concept began as the Southwest Indian Youth Center, a community-based, federal grant-funded program on Mount Lemmon for adjudicated American Indian youth.
For nearly four years, 70 male teenagers from 18 communities in Arizona, Nevada and Utah resided in the Prison Camp barracks on Mount Lemmon, receiving social and rehabilitation services and attending school in Tucson. The children were delinquent and/or neglected youth who needed a positive, reinforcing environment in which to develop healthy life skills and self-sufficiency.
When the federal grant ended, founder David Giles established Intermountain Centers for Human Development to continue the work. The organization has evolved under his tenure. Giles led the organization in branching out, improving its efficiency and reaching all types of people.
Since its inception, Intermountain has developed a variety of programs and services for children and adults. That includes home-based and out-of-home support for emotionally and behaviorally challenged children, adults with serious mental illness and people with developmental disabilities. Its various programs in Tucson include four group homes, about 120 foster homes and apartments where staff offer daily support.