Life (house) with Teodros


Meet Teodros- He has been a Lifehouse resident for the last six years and currently lives at Laurel House group home. Teodros’ polite temperament and genuine personality makes him delightful to chat with and be around. Like all of our Lifehouse residents in the Independent Living Service (ILS) program, Teodros sets goals for him to live as independently as possible and receives guidance from our expertly trained direct service professionals who help execute his plan to reach them.

Teodros’ current goals are becoming more organized and disciplined in recording and managing his appointments and weekly schedule, budgeting and saving money, and learning kitchen safety and to cook on his own. With sharpening these skills, Teodros hopes to find a job or volunteer position and to be able to move on to an even more independent living situation with less staff support.

In his free time, Teodros enjoys getting out and about in the community. He speaks fondly of spending time with Lifehouse resident Chloe. Together, they venture to the movies and museums. They also share a love for music and dance. You can see them showing off their dance skills at the annual Great Chefs and Wineries resident performance!

Are you interested in art, travel or Sci-fi? Then you and Teodros will get along just fine. He has an extensive and dynamic book collection that can take you on many adventures, from the Amazon rainforest to the fantasy world and chronicles of The Hobbit. His most prized of them all is H.G. Wells’ Time Machine.

Teodros’ enthusiasm for Sci-fi animation and cartoons have led him to take animation classes at Alchemia day program once a week. For the rest of the week, he attends the Autisry Studios program, which is geared towards facilitating learning experiences in education, vocation, and physical fitness. Particularly, this program supports Teodros in taking courses at College of Marin. He completed a math course just this last semester.

At Lifehouse, it is believed that the combined efforts of day and supported living programs can help individuals, such as Teodros, live inspired, purposeful and independent lives.


Life (house) with Amy


Meet Amy- she’s one of those people that just sparkles. Her warm smile and upbeat personality are contagious, which makes her a well-known fixture in the Lifehouse community.

Amy has been a Lifehouse resident for nine years in the Independent Living Service (ILS) Program and lives at Laurel House. Like many of our Lifehouse residents, Amy enjoys the independence that the program gives her. Amy says that Lifehouse has helped her grow both personally and within the community. She regularly walks on her own to the library and is able to independently schedule all her rides with the Whistlestop ride service.

Many of Amy’s interests include singing, dancing, drawing and hanging out with friends. Amy spends four days a week at the Alchemia day program. Here, she uses that infamous sparkle on Mondays and Wednesdays in her musical theater class. In these workshops, members work together to develop original musical productions for audiences, focusing on issues relevant to their families and the community. Her favorite performance to date is a twist on a classic, “All That Jazz”.

Additionally, Amy is a creative soul and enjoys the Visual Arts Program at Alchemia. She takes inspiration from the planned art adventures to museums and art galleries throughout the Bay Area. Like any true artist, Amy takes the time to hone her skills and attends weekly lessons at Hamilton Field Art Studios in Novato. One of her favorite subjects to draw is animals—a diverse collection of creatures fills her sketchbooks.

Amy’s love for animals is a continuous thread throughout her life. She has set a long-term goal of having her own pet to care for someday. In the meantime, she volunteers as a dog walker every Tuesday for Jessica’s Haven and Rescue. This allows her to stay active and interact with her favorite pooch, Stormy the Chihuahua.

Subscribe to our email list for more of Amy’s sparkle and updates on Lifehouse residents.


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

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Let's learn and play together to foster compassion, diversity, and leadership in young children. 
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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.

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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

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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

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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.