Friendship Community

Impacting the World with Capabilities

Friendship Community is celebrating 50 years as a faith-based organization that cultivates the capabilities of Individuals with Intellectual Disability and Autism in Lancaster and Lebanon Counties since 1972. With a thriving arts day program, a home-based services program, and 24 residential homes supporting over 150 Individuals in the two counties, Friendship Community continues its vital work every day to Impact the World with Capabilities.


Friendship Community began its faith-based ministry in 1969 when The Eastern Board of Missions and Charities began researching ways that parents of children with disabilities could receive the support and resources needed. From then on, a committee of six men was formed and for the next three years, they gathered information from families of those with Disabilities in hopes of finding more sufficient ways to support them. It was from their findings, they concluded that a residential program was needed for these Individuals. Once the project was completed in 1972, the East Oregon Road home opened as Friendship Community’s first residential home serving twelve Individuals and two respite beds. Since that moment, Friendship Community has expanded to 24 residential homes and various programs that allow individuals to thrive in their talents and skills.

Announcing the new CEO of Friendship Community!
Dear Friendship Community Family & Friends,
Friendship Community announces, with pleasure, the appointment of our new Chief Executive Officer, Mary Ellen Farber. Mary Ellen will be replacing Gwen Schuit, former Chief Executive Officer, who retired at the end of November 2021. 
Mary Ellen has a heart and passion for serving individuals with disabilities. She comes to Friendship Community after serving as CEO for 12+ years at another faith-based, nonprofit organization whose mission is to serve individuals with intellectual disabilities. 
She has an MBA as well as Doctorate-level coursework in Organizational Leadership from Eastern University. She is a Licensed Personal Care Home Administrator, Assisted Living Administrator and Nursing Home Administrator. She lives with her family in Denver, Pennsylvania. The combination of her education, experience, culture and drive makes her an ideal fit for our Organization for our next stages of growth. It is anticipated that Mary Ellen will officially join Friendship Community on March 22, 2022. 
Abby Morris
Director of Operations
Sherri Colton
Director of Advancement

Join Our Team

If you are looking for an opportunity to not only make a difference in the lives of our Individuals but also a difference in your own life, come join our Friendship team.

We are currently hiring

Direct Support Professionals,
Residential Managers,
Residential Coordinator,
Certified Nursing Assistants,
And more!

Contact Eric Brobst on our Human Resources Team
for more information about employment.
717.656.2466 ext. 1138 or

Join us in celebrating Friendship Community’s 50th Anniversary on October 20th at 6:30 pm at Shady Maple. Enjoy a delicious meal while hearing the inspirational story of Chris Nikic. Chris was the first person with Down Syndrome to complete a 140.6-mile Ironman Triathlon in November of 2020 and is verified by the Guinness World Records. Chris and his dad, Nik, have inspired many to reach their dreams and goals. Chris and Nik believe in getting 1% Better each and every day so that they too can achieve the unthinkable. Read all about their journey in their book, 1% Better: Reaching my Full Potential and How You Can Too. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities can be found at or call Calista White at (717) 656-2466 ext. 1155.

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