Great Expectations



NEW Preschool in Marin County! 

Dear Lifehouse Community,

We are excited about partnering with Marin County Office of Education and Dominican University to bring the first Inclusive Preschool to Marin County. Great Expectations opens this Fall. 

Your Child's Benefits in an Inclusive Preschool

  • Increase self-esteem, maturity, confidence, autonomy and leadership skills
  • Develop more sophisticated and improved interpersonal intelligence
  • Adopt new abilities, attitude and values related to differences
  • Acquire a positive sentiment of inclusion at an early age

If you are a parent or know someone with a preschool-age child interested in enrolling in Great Expectations, please contact Kate O'Connor.

(415) 526-5307

Warmest Regards,

Nancy Dow Moody, President & CEO


A Marin County Collaborative: Lifehouse, MCOE & Dominican University

Pending License #21400544

shutterstock_wheelchair in round shape.jpg
Let's learn and play together to foster compassion, diversity, and leadership in young children. 
GE Logo.jpg

Preschool Hours

8:45AM- 12:45PM

Extended Hours 

7:30AM- 6:00PM

850 Del Ganado Road

San Rafael, CA 94903

Home for a Lifetime


Since 1954, Lifehouse has opened the doors of opportunity and independence to individuals with developmental disabilities through life-skills training, community integration, and advocacy. We could not be more proud of the progress of the people we support and the satisfaction it has brought to them and their families, especially the many beneficial effects of their integration into our community. We invite you to join the celebration of Legacy Week! You can follow along here or check us out on Instagram or Facebook.

Please help us continue to provide high quality services to people with developmental disabilities in the Bay Area.

Craig and NDM.jpg

A note from our CEO

Dear Friends,
One of the fundamental values on which Lifehouse was
founded was to create a sense of belonging in our community. The parents who founded this organization 64 years ago were pioneers. The options for people with disabilities at that time were to live at home or in large, state-run institutions. Our founders’ vision came directly from their hearts and dreams for their sons and daughters to be accepted and to find their place
in our community.
Lifehouse has become a national model for supported and
independent living, providing services to over 300 individuals with developmental disabilities. What will Lifehouse look like in the future? Only time will tell! I do know Lifehouse will continue to evolve and respond to the needs in our community.
Please join me in our mission of providing that place and that opportunity to be a valued member of our community.
Warmest Regards,
Nancy Dow Moody
President & CEO

Life (house) with Kwame

Kwamie 1.jpg
Kwame Jackson-Ricks
Lifehouse Resident

Meet Kwame. He has been with Lifehouse for the last 11 years. He is in the Independent Living Service (ILS) program and lives in Laurel House. Here, Kwame lives with four other roommates and, with the assistance of our direct care professionals, they develop an extensive individualized plan for fulfilling goals towards greater independence.

Each plan concentrates on areas like mobility, food preparation, budgeting and banking, daily living skills, medical needs, housekeeping, and socialization. Kwame especially enjoys budgeting his money and has a goal to land a job this summer.

At Laurel House, all of the roommates take turns cooking throughout the week. Kwame loves to take this opportunity to apply what he has learned in cooking classes. Wednesday is his day to cook, and his specialty is veggie stir fry. Yum!

Lifehouse concentrates on the quality of life for both our employees and the individuals we serve. Wellness is a large part of that well- being. Kwame stays active by going to the local YMCA to work out, participates in a softball league on Thursdays in the summer, and is a regular participant in the Marin County Special Olympics. He was a proud participant in the Track and Field event this May in Novato.

An important part of the day to day life of the people we serve are programs provided by different institutions in Marin, Sonoma and San Francisco Counties. Kwame attends Alchemia’s performing arts program five days a week. Alchemia’s goal is to foster empowerment and enhance the visibility of their members. Kwame immerses himself in musical theater and drum line classes. This must be why he rocks it every year for the Lifehouse performance for Great Chefs and Wineries!

Stay tuned for updates on Kwame and other resident’s profiles.

MAC Panel

Biomedical Approaches to Autism 


On Saturday, May 5, 2018, the Marin Autism Collaborative hosted “Biomedical Approaches to Autism featuring Dr. Robert Hendren of UCSF” at the Buck Institute in Novato. Dr. Hendren is a Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science; Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at UCSF, the Co-Director of the UCSF Dyslexia Center, the Director of the Program for Research on Neurodevelopmental and Translational Outcomes (PRONTO) and attending psychiatrist at the STAR Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders Program. His current areas of research and publication interests are translational interventional outcomes research including clinical pharmacology, nutraceutical and nutritional trials using biomarkers to enhance resilience in neurodevelopmental disorders.

The panelists who spoke are stars in their field. Julie Andersen, PhD of the Buck Institute, is a renowned expert on age-related neurodegenerative disease and is pursuing a wide array of leads toward treatments for complex disorders including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Julie is also the parent of a child on the spectrum. Dr. David Traver, M.D. is a pediatrician specializing in treatment of autism spectrum disorders. His practice focuses on the testing and treatment of biological and medical conditions associated with ASD. Dan Swearingen is co-founder of Autistry Studios, a Marin County nonprofit program that promotes the growth of independence for those on the autism spectrum. He is on the spectrum himself and has a son with autism and has years of experience with dietary approaches to autism.

In the audience were families, scientists, nurses, and people on the autism spectrum ready to learn about biomedical approaches to autism. Dr. Hendren spoke about his research in interventional treatments on epigenetic processes, which are increasingly demonstrated to have a role in the gene x environment interactions that underline the development of Nutrition Deficit Disorder in those on the autism spectrum. To supplement this research, the three panelists spoke of their experiences with people on the autism spectrum and how various treatments and diets were used on their patients.

Thank you to all who attended and we look forward to putting on more informational events for our community.

Life(house) with Lily

Lily Cedars Profile.png

Meet Lily. She has been with Lifehouse since she was 21 years old and loves the opportunities that Lifehouse brings to her. Through the Supported Living Program (SLP) and with the help of her counselor, Tina, Lily is able to live independently, in her own apartment.

Counselors like Tina provide personalized support and training to enable those served by Lifehouse to live as independently as possible. This includes helping each individual budget finances, pinpoint abilities that will help them find jobs, cooking and managing a healthy diet, coordinating activities with friends and using the Whistlestop transportation system to get around in their community.  

Lily’s favorite part about Lifehouse is the annual trips. Each year she saves her money in anticipation of the next great adventure. These trips allow for her to enjoy new experiences and explore the world outside of her everyday life. Lily’s favorite trip is Disneyland, but cruises to Catalina Island and Mexico are a close second.

Lily is known for her vibrant and friendly personality. This has brought her much success as a Courtesy Clerk at Safeway, for the last 25 years. But when she isn’t working, she loves to spend time at Cedars Fine Art Studios, in San Anselmo. Here, she is able to focus on her art hobby. Lily says that she is inspired by the feeling of looking at the stars. She strives to make the colors in her work create that beautiful glow we all see at night.

Elevating Lives through Technology

Here at Lifehouse, we strive to provide technology solutions for the people we support that will best promote their independence and communication. With a person centered thinking approach, we focus on each individuals' needs and desires, and we will stay on task until we have a setup that brings service and value to their daily lives.

Press play to see the positive impact that technology has had in the lives of the people we serve. 

Sparkle Sponsor

Joe Cresalia is the third generation of the San Francisco based jewelry dynasty, Cresalia’s. His path to taking over the family business was not direct. He graduated from the University of Denver where he met his wife, Maryanne. Their mutual passion for the great outdoors brought them to Alaska where Joe fished king crab commercially and Maryanne started a preschool and fished salmon. It was after starting a family of their own that Joe and Maryanne decided that Joe would join the family business. Joe attended the Gemological Institute of America and then joined his dad full time in 1979.


The family business occupies a small, old-fashioned niche in jewelry retailing and has specialized in custom engagement rings and family heirloom redesign since 1912. The majority of Cresalia’s business comes through referrals. While Cresalia's merchandise is of high quality, its prices do not include the hefty premiums of some name-brand merchants.

Joe is no stranger to commitment in his community and has a huge heart when it comes to giving back. He has been on the Roots of Peace Board of Directors since December 2014, and he was on the Board of San Francisco Family Enrichment for 15 years. He has also been active with the YMCA Youth Program for 20 years.

Lifehouse is proud to have Cresalia’s as the Sparkle Sponsor for Great Chefs and Wineries for the second year running. Sticking true to the history of the business, Joe has re-designed a stunning bracelet from the 1920’s. It is a yellow gold & diamond open bangle secured by a push clasp & safety. Diamonds are old round & brilliant-faceted, with a G in color & clarity of VS2. A total weight of 1.10 carats of antique diamonds, from the 1900s, is set in white gold leaf and is valued at $7,500. This one-of-a-kind piece can be yours if you purchase a $100 raffle ticket!

Click below if you’re feeling lucky...

Lifehouse Resident Spotlight

Meet Zachary Weil and Stacey Bowen

by Matthew Tarver-Wahlquist, VP/COO


Zach Weil and Stacey Bowen are longtime Lifehouse residents, participating in our
Supported Living Program living in their own apartment, with Lifehouse providing staff
support in areas such as domestic skills, financial management, social skills, health and
hygiene, community integration, and personal growth. In addition to receiving these
services from Lifehouse, both Zach and Stacey attend Alchemia Day Program, where they partake in activities such as art, outdoor activities, games, musical theatre, health nutrition classes, and comedy.

It is at Lifehouse and Alchemia where Zach and Stacey met, and now they are engaged.
Their engagement story began on New Year’s Eve of 2017. Stacey had always loved the Ball Drop in New York City. It also has an added significance; her mother’s birthday happens to be on New Year’s Day. Therefore, Zach knew that was the perfect time to pop the question. The moment 2017 became 2018, Zach and Stacey were engaged to be married.

This didn’t come completely out of the blue for Stacey, who had picked out an engagement ring on a trip to Disneyland earlier in the year. She has been dating Zach for the past six years, but she had no idea it would happen at such a perfect moment. “Stacey’s mom is friends with me, and I knew it was her birthday. I thought that would make it extra special,” says Zach, who was interested in Stacey “from the first time I laid eyes on her” when they started attending the Alchemia Day Program together. It began as a friendship, but soon after Stacey became newly single, and with some encouragement from her friends, it blossomed into a romance. “What’s inside of him is very sensitive”, Stacey says of Zach. “I’m ready to settle down and spend my life with somebody.” For Zach’s part, he is a great admirer of Stacey’s musical abilities. “I love the way she sings. It’s out of this world. She has the best voice.”

Zach and Stacey are both individuals who have been able to live independently with
Lifehouse staff support and became more and more confident in their abilities. Under the
Supported Living Program, they both were able to expand their horizons, learn about
what works for them in their daily routines, and most importantly learn how to advocate
for themselves in the community. For Zach, his eight years at Lifehouse enabled him to
mature into a responsible adult, and for Stacey, her seven years at Lifehouse helped her
gain a better understanding of her health issues and how to live better with these issues.

We are very excited for Zach and Stacey. As for their plans for the near future, the
couple plans to enjoy their engagement for a while without rushing to plan a wedding.
Valentine’s Day was celebrated by watching the film “50 Shades Freed” together. They also planned to watch the box office hit “Black Panther”. Congratulations and best wishes to Stacey and Zach, Lifehouse’s current Power Couple!