Meet The Arc

The Arc Greater Twin Cities

For 70 years, The Arc Greater Twin Cities has been working to ensure that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families have opportunities to achieve full and satisfying lives. We promote and protect human rights and actively support the full inclusion of people with disabilities in the community throughout their lifetime providing help with education, health care, housing, employment and more.

The Arc Greater Twin Cities serves the seven-county Twin Cities metro area, including Washington County, and is the largest chapter of The Arc in Minnesota. Persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities we serve include those with:

  • Autism
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Down syndrome
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
  • Fragile X
  • Other related conditions

Arc's Value Village Thrift Stores & Donation Centers generate about half of the funding for The Arc Greater Twin Cities' programs and services are are the primary reason why The Arc is able to provide services for little or no cost.  Merchandise comes from generous community donors.  Donations are tax deductible.  The closest Arc's Value Village store to Washington County is at 1650 White Bear Avenue North in St Paul -- open seven days a week, 9-9 M-F and 9-6 weekends.  When you shop, donate and volunteer at Arc's Value Village, you help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families achieve lives with more opportunity and promise.  It's shopping with a purpose!

What does The Arc offer?

Abuse Prevention

People with disabilities are at far greater risk for abuse than people without disabilities and most abuse is unreported. The ArcGreater Twin Cities has made abuse prevention a priority and provides training for self-advocates, family members and others who support people with disabilities, including professionals and first responders. We also provide a wealth of information and resources.


People of all ages who face many kinds of disability-related challenges can find the information, assistance and support they need to achieve productive lives. Ask an advocate online (or by phone) your disability-related question and receive a quick reply by one of our experts. Free phone consultations are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm. One-to-one intensive personal support is also available for those that need it.

FutureLife Options

Today, the life expectancy for someone with a disability is very close to that of someone without a disability.  That makes long-term planning very important.  FutureLife Options creates a long-term comprehensive plan uniquely designed for the individual with a disability and their personal network.  FutureLife Options is long-term planning for your loved one's quality of life combined with information about legal and financial planning done through other community resources.  Together these aspects serve as a guide for anyone who will support your loved one with a disability in the future.

Networking & Family Access Groups

Free support groups meet monthly across the metro area. Parents and caregivers may join any group, regardless of location. Visit the website for details.

Online Resources

We also have numerous Arc Guides that provide valuable, concise information on a variety of topics including education, government programs as well as guardianship and housing for individuals that are transition age and older – just to name a few!


It's Your Choice, Find Your Voice! Is offered through transition programs to teach teens and adults with disabilities how to make decisions, speak up, understand their rights and develop relationships. This program is one of very few in the community specifically for adults with disabilities. Self-advocates are encouraged to participate in all of The Arc Greater Twin Cities' programs, services and committees, starting with the Board of Directors, which includes two adults with disabilities.

Public Policy Advocacy

Public Policy Advocacy Public policy advocacy seeks to change laws and policies to benefit persons with disabilities and ensure access to supports necessary to live a good life in the community. Subscribe to our Policy Preview E-newsletterand you will receive our Policy Preview which includes Action Alerts, Volunteer Opportunities, and News and Events.


Want to work at The Arc? Learn more about job openings at The Arc Greater Twin Cities and Arc's Value Village Thrift Stores & Donation Centers.


The Arc is a membership organization. Members strengthen our power to make a difference for individuals and families. Join us! The tax-deductible annual cost is just $35 for individuals and $45 for households.

For more information about services, membership and other opportunities, contact The Arc Greater Twin Cities at:

     Phone:   (952) 920-0855




The Arc Minnesota

The mission of The Arc Minnesota is to promote and protect the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively support their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes. Our vision is a world where people with developmental disabilities are more self-reliant, empowered, and able to make choices in their lives.

Originally organized to serve children with intellectual disabilities, The Arc now serves people of all ages with many kinds of developmental disabilities including, but not limited to, intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. The Arc is different from other organizations in that it is concerned with the total life of an individual, from birth to death, and with all services or needs an individual and his or her family may have.

The Arc Minnesota carries out its mission through:

Housing in the Community

The Arc Minnesota has been a leader in services that help people with disabilities find places of their own to live in the community. Housing Access Services, a partnership between The Arc Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Human Services, and local chapters of The Arc, has moved more than 600 people with disabilities into homes where they have more independence and control over their daily lives, including residents of Washington County. See a video with stories of a few of the 600 people we have helped move.

For more information, contact Scott Schifsky, The Arc Minnesota Program Director at 651-604-8055 or

Public Policy Advocacy

The Arc Minnesota has been a leader in public policy advocacy for persons with developmental disabilities and their families. We have been a crucial force in numerous public policy successes in our more than 60 years or existence. These victories have benefitted Minnesotans in Washington County and across the state. In the past two decades alone, we have:

  • Helped pass bills that restore cuts made to disability services, including cuts to wages paid to staff who provide the care for family members who have disabilities that enables them to stay in their homes.
  • Helped prevent cuts to services proposed by elected officials.
  • Led efforts to create innovations that gave individuals with disabilities and their families more control over their funding and the staff who support them.
  • Led efforts to improve Minnesota's ways of ensuring that disability services are of high quality.
  • Helped pass legislation to secure funding for innovative programs that give people more control Housing Access Services program.
  • Led efforts to pass legislation that reduced the number of people waiting for services to help them live more independently in the community.
  • Been a leading voice in protecting the right of Minnesotans with disabilities to vote.

We keep individuals and families updated on public policy issues through the Public Policy page on our website and e-communications that include timely alerts on contacting elected officials. Sign up online to receive our e-communications.

Financial Security Through Our Trust Program

Th eArc Minnesota's Master Pooled Trust helps provide future financial security for your child, family member, or friend who lives with disabilities, while not affecting that person's eligibility for means-tested benefits. This program:

  • Helps enhance the quality of life for persons with disabilities by using the trust's funds for items not covered by government benefits.
  • Provides a cost-effective option for families to create a trust.
  • Invests money in sound financial instruments.
  • Relieves families from having to handle paperwork, reporting requirements, and updates on current government regulations.

Contact Dennis Collins, Trust Director, at 651-604-8075 or to answer questions you have about the trust.

Connections to Resources

The Arc Minnesota connects individuals and families with crucial information, community resources, and individuals who can advocate with them or on their behalf.

  • We connect them with resources and advocates in their area through referrals to local agencies and to the appropriate local chapter of The Arc, including The Arc Greater Twin Cities, which serves Washington County.
  • We provide timely information, information about available services, and pertinent news items through our website and our Facebook page.
  • Our annual state conference brings people with disabilities, their parents and family members, leaders of The Arc, other disability advocates, and professionals working in the field together for a weekend of informative presentations, connections with current service providers, skills-building workshops, and networking opportunities.