frequently asked questions


I have a relative with a developmental disability and would like more information about Lifehouse’s programs?

Please contact Kate O'Connor, Director of Programs and Operations at Lifehouse, to discuss your relative’s potential needs.

What is the application process for new Lifehouse participants?

Contact Kate O'Connor, Director of Programs and Operations, to discuss a potential participant’s needs. Kate can arrange facility visits for a first-hand look at our programs as well as provide information about other agencies and services that may be of interest. We accept both private pay and fees for services through the Regional Centers. If the potential client is not yet a client of the Regional Center, it is a good idea to start the process because it can take up to 120 days. Along with a completed application, the Regional Center requires attachments of copies of medical reports regarding the applicant’s disability or information from school records. Once approved, a Regional Center case manager will be assigned to the new client to help develop a personal plan and recommend services. The Regional Center does fund services approved by the interdisciplinary team. Lifehouse is happy to assist with the application process.

What makes Lifehouse unique?

Since 1954, we have been instrumental in providing services for people with developmental disabilities. During this time, we have initiated many new programs in response to expressed needs in the community. Lifehouse strives to ensure that the people we support are integrated within the community and can function as independently as possible. We’re proud that our core group of staff members has been with Lifehouse for many years, allowing them to develop strong long-term relationships with the people we serve.

How does Lifehouse help its independent living program participants?

We offer support services and training for adults with developmental disabilities so they develop the living and social skills needed for living in their own home or apartment. The people we support learn how to be mobile and social in the community, shop for necessities, prepare meals, manage their finances, and take care of their personal items, health needs and household surroundings. We work with each individual to develop a comprehensive plan that will help him or her reach their goal of increased independence.

How does Lifehouse assist participants with physical impairments or more severe cognitive disabilities?

We operate three Intermediate Care group homes that are designed to provide comprehensive support to individuals with severe physical and/or cognitive disabilities. Residents have the opportunity to live as independently as possible with outings in the community and continued training in self-help and communication skills. Staff members that work in these homes have regular contact with a house physician and nurse consultants. Other consultants that work with these residents include speech, occupational, physical, and behavioral therapists.

We offer supported living services that can be tailored to individuals' needs., which includes staff to assist individuals to live in their own apartment or home. Funding for supported living can be provided by the Regional Center, but the participant or the participant's family pays for the cost of housing. Almost all adult participants reeve state supplemental income.

How does Lifehouse assist its participants in community involvement?

We help the people we support become active participants in their community by providing outings and skills programs to make them feel comfortable in their environments. Our staff and volunteers plan and assist in outings for participants to shop, eat, go to the movies, bowl and participate in community activities of their choice. Living and social skills training is given in participants’ homes as well as in public areas, such as banks, supermarkets, department stores, buses and restaurants. Participants who live in our independent living skills training homes are either employed in the community or participate in job training and volunteer programs.

What kinds of activities are provided for participants?

The people we support are involved in many community activities including volunteering, participating in Special Olympics, swimming and exercise programs, dining, bowling and house parties and visits into the community. We have worked closely with the Parks and Recreation Departments to promote community activities, such as monthly dances and get-togethers. Some of our annual events include a picnic, awards banquet, and a holiday party. We also offer a travel program that takes our participants to exciting destinations, such as Disneyland, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Reno, Las Vegas, New York and cruises to Mexico.

How does Lifehouse find appropriate housing for individuals ready to live on their own?

Because of a lack of affordable housing in the Bay Area, Lifehouse is active in organizations that promote new affordable housing opportunities. Additionally, over the last 20 years, Lifehouse has developed its own housing, which clients can rent based on affordability.