How STARC Got Started

It all began with Heaven.

Heaven is the first-born daughter to Laura and Gerald Delaup. At almost fifty years old, Heaven has never spoken and requires assistance with all her daily living skills. And, yet, she is her parents’ greatest teacher. In 1972, she inspired her mother to establish opportunities for individuals with developmental disABILITIES—the chance to live, work and be an integral part of the St. Tammany Parish community. Because of Heaven, STARC was born.

As Heaven’s needs have grown over the years, so have STARC’s capabilities. Today STARC offers more than 35 varied programs, services and supports that enrich and enhance the lives of more than 1,000 individuals with disABILITIES and their families. Heaven, for example, is a resident of The Potter’s Clay Community home, where she lives happily, comfortably and safely with seven other ladies who also have developmental disABILITIES. STARC’s countless devoted employees, board members, advocates and volunteers make it possible.

Now it’s your turn. How will your journey with STARC begin? Hopefully, it will begin with a little bit of Heaven.

“STARC gave us the gift of respect for our child and the special person she is. You look beyond what society defines as disABILITIES and focus on her unique talents and ABILITIES. Thank you for being there for us!!!”
—Gerald and Laura Delaup, Parents

Where Do I Start?

Confused about how to begin accessing STARC’s services? We make it easy. If you don’t see the answer you need below,
we’re available to answer questions at 985.641.0197, ext. 115, and right here.

Early Steps

Early Steps provides services to families with infants and toddlers from birth to 36 months of age who have a medical condition likely to result in a cognitive, motor...

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Waiver Services

Medicaid home and community-based waiver programs allow people greater flexibility to choose where they want to live and to use services...

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Noah’s ARC

Noah’s ARC Child Development Center provides a full range of educational and developmental services in an inclusive environment for children ages six weeks to pre-K.

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Residential Services

Residential community homes provide opportunities for individuals to live in a family-style home in a typical neighborhood.

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Adult Day Programs

STARC Adult Day Programs assist individuals in acquiring and retaining skills needed for independence, recreation and interpersonal proficiencies.

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Alzheimer’s Angel

The STARC Alzheimer’s Angel program provides loving, supervised care for people with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or related dementias.

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What We Do

STARC’s mission is impressive. For individuals with disABILITIES in St. Tammany and four surrounding parishes, STARC provides a lifetime of Services, Training, Advocacy, Resources and Community Connections.

But it’s how STARC achieves its goal that is truly awe-inspiring.

Our programs and services in early intervention, day care, respite care, work training, vocational employment, home care and residential living helps move individuals through a life-long process toward greater wellbeing and independence. Our reach is broad and yet our attention to detail is vigilant. At STARC, there is truly something for everyone.

Consider this: STARC carefully matches individual and family needs with employers who have specific job openings, providing the resources and training necessary to achieve success. We also vigilantly advocate for policies and legislation, and passionately build community support, to further open opportunities for those with disABILITIES.
The results of STARC’s efforts are astounding. For example, STARC is one of the largest employers in St. Tammany Parish and brings direct economic impact to the entire local community. STARC enables caregivers to work outside the home while loved ones participate in programs. And people with disABILITIES can work in meaningful jobs and earn paychecks.

If you or a loved one need or could use the support offered through STARC, or if you’re moved by STARC’s mission to act, please reach out. There’s always room for those ready to serve and make a meaningful difference in the lives of others.

And that is, perhaps, the most awe-inspiring of all.



Dianne Baham – Executive Director

Dianne has been at STARC since 1972. A 1970 graduate of SLU, Dianne has a degree in Social Work. She is a life-long resident of St. Tammany Parish and is married to Rev. Jim Baham, Associate Pastor and Minister of Music at First Baptist Church in Slidell. They have both served in respective ministries for the past 45 years. She and Jim have one son, Mark, who also works for STARC as Assistant Director. Dianne is actively involved in her community, serving on various boards, as well as her church. The following quote is a daily inspiration to her: “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do I ought to do. And what I ought to do, I will do, by the grace of God, to the best of my ability.”


Mark Baham – Assistant Director

Mark is a life-long resident of Slidell. He joined the Army immediately after high school in 1996, proudly serving his country for six years. He earned his BA in Marketing from Southeastern Louisiana University before joining STARC in 2000. Mark’s intimate view of how STARC changes the lives of wonderful citizens shapes his decision-making daily. He married his wife, Cheryl, in 2010. They have two children: Alana and Layne. Mark is a graduate of Leadership St. Tammany, a board member for the East Chamber of Commerce and a board member for Statewide Community Providers Association.

What Our Families Have to Say About STARC.

Watch their video testimonials below.

Quotes From Our Community.

“STARC plays such an important role in our community. We are so fortunate to have this group here.”

Pat Brister

St. Tammany Parish President

“Too often we underestimate the power of a smile, a kind word or other act of caring, all of which have the potential
to turn a life around. STARC does all of these and much more for the ones who need it the most.”

Dawn Sharpe

Chief Executive Officer,
East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce

“If you’re looking for a recipe for success, you will find it in STARC’s menu of services.”

Chef John Besh

“More now than ever, we need EVERYONE to work together in order to be a successful community.
STARC’s dedication makes that a reality. So please join us in keeping this important organization growing.”

Randy Smith

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff

“STARC affords their clients dignity, respect, and love to function and be a part of the community.”

Willie Paretti

Community Leader

“The quality of life in St. Tammany Parish is one of the most significant elements in attracting and retaining businesses in our community.
STARC is a tremendous contributor to that quality of life.”

Brenda Reine Bertus

Executive Director, St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation

“I know my daughter is happy and loved at STARC. Thank God for STARC and its staff.
I can sleep at night knowing that my daughter is safe. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!”

Dorothy Carter


“STARC’s fundraising effort is a great example of a non-profit organization reducing its dependency on the government,
and our tax dollars, while providing necessary services to our community’s most vulnerable citizens.
Thank You, STARC, for the invaluable, responsible service you provide.”

Senator Jack Donahue

“If not for the wonderful workers at STARC, my son would have a very limited experience. He would
be unable to access the community and would be “locked-in.” Since my husband passed away, it is necessary
for me to work. I am grateful to the Lord for providing Christian people to look after and love my son.”

Lisa Franszczak


“Our adult son has Down syndrome. Having him live in a STARC group home has given us peace of mind,
knowing that he is loved and well cared for, even if something happens to us.”

Jim and Carol Stephens


“STARC provides us with the opportunity to reach our full potential as caring individuals.”

Steve Duvernay

STARC Board President

We are grateful to STARC for providing Susie with peers, purpose and stability. She has had the same loving roommates
for years and is in a safe, stable and social environment. She looks forward to the events and cherishes her role as the ‘Birthday Calendar.’”

Gloria Anderson

Residential Program Parent

“STARC has loved and cared for my son, Obie, since he was 17.
He is now 41 and happy as a clam with STARC. Wonderful people with big hearts.”

Margaret Knight

Residential Program Parent

“It is a great comfort to me to know that Melissa is cared for in a loving, safe environment.
STARC is such a wonderful place, and the staff goes above and beyond to keep her healthy and happy.
I am so thankful for STARC.”

Janice DuBuisson

Residential Program Parent