In the late 1960’s options were limited for families of individuals with developmental disabilities. The choice was to keep their loved one isolated in the family home or institutionalized in one of California’s overcrowded mental institutions.

Two Piedmont families, Dr. Edwin and Shirley Clausen and Helen and Ralph Pahlmeyer, were facing this stark circumstance for their children when they could no longer care for them. They developed the idea of buying a home where 5-6 residents could live in their community cared for by an adult, perhaps the mother of one of the residents. This brainchild of the Clausens and Pahlmeyers became “Clausen House” in 1967 with the purchase of the former residence of Henry J.Kaiser on Haddon Rod in Oakland and the establishment of a group home.  Over the next several years, Clausen House expanded beyond a single group home.  Clausen House acquired additional residential properties, including an apartment building, and provided additional supports for independent living such as independent and supported living services,  adult education and training, supported employment and social recreation. As Clausen House turns  50, it is the oldest life time residential care agency for individuals with developmental disabilities in the East Bay.

To celebrate this milestone achievement, Clausen House is throwing a 50th Anniversary Community Celebration on Sunday, July 16 at Preservation Park in Oakland, CA, from 5:30-9:00pm. The event is free and open to all family members, clients, supporters, community partners and friends. There will be food, music, entertainment, dancing and merriment. Please RSVP to or to;/510.839.1114