In 1969, the Mental Retardation Center housed approximately 500 developmentally disabled people, along with individuals diagnosed as mentally ill and criminally insane, in the restrictive, institutional setting of the Colorado State Hospital in Pueblo. In 1971 the developmentally disabled population was moved into separate, but still inappropriate, buildings on the grounds of the state hospital and the name of the M.R. Center was changed to the Pueblo State Home and Training School.
Significant positive changes in the living environment for 88 residents occurred in December 1981, when the State Home and Training School moved from CSH into eleven newly built 8-bed residential homes throughout Pueblo West. By the end of 1982, two additional program buildings were completed in Pueblo West to meet the day program and recreational needs of the individuals living in the homes. In 1983 the name of the facility was changed, more appropriately, to the Pueblo Regional Center. By 1989, the remaining 160 individuals residing at PRC who lived on the grounds of CSH were transferred to more appropriate placements and the campus buildings were closed.
Today, PRC is the only state-operated facility for people with developmental disabilities in Colorado, which is totally “deinstitutionalized.” The goal is to prepare as many individuals as possible for movement to even smaller, more independent, and more individualized living and working arrangements in the Colorado communities of their choice.