About Clausen House


Our mission

Our mission is to create opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to gain competency, identify and realize their goals and aspirations, develop relationships and join the community with increasing command over their own lives.

Founded in 1967, Clausen House is a registered charitable 501(c)(3) institution that provides housing, wellness programs and advocacy for developmentally disabled adults in Oakland and the surrounding East Bay area. Our clients are adults challenged by autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and other intellectually and developmentally disabling conditions.

We celebrate 50 years of direct support to approximately 200 adults with developmental disabilities, and indirect support to their families in Oakland and throughout Alameda County. We deliver a life-enhancing array of services that enables our clients to live, work, socialize and thrive to their fullest potential. Our dedicated staff of over 60 professionals delivers services that include housing, independent and supported living, supported employment, adult education and social recreation.

Clausen House clients benefit from the warm and supportive environment in our four residential buildings in the Adams Point area of Oakland, California, and the Clarence J. Woodard Community Center near Lake Merritt where they build life skills through art, nutrition, health, money management and information technology classes.

Clausen House is an ardent advocate fighting to increase awareness about intellectual and developmental disabilities and eliminate stigma.

Clausen House is CARF (Council on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) certified in our Supported Employment program. Members of our staff and Board of Directors are recipients of awards from the  Developmental Disability Council of Alameda County in 2013. Our federal tax I.D. number is 94-1639361.

A Brief History of Clausen House

Clausen House has long been a pioneer in assisting adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities become part of the community. In 1967 Clausen House began as a single group home for the developmentally disabled providing an alternative to being institutionalized or isolated in a family home. 

Since then, Clausen House has expanded to include three residential group homes, an apartment complex, a community center, and provide to independent and supported living, education, supported employment, and social recreation programs.

The organization’s first residence for women with developmental disabilities was located in the former home of industrialist Henry J. Kaiser at 664 Haddon Road in Oakland. The residence was named after an Oakland physician, Dr. Edwin Clausen, whose daughter Ann was one of the first participants in the program. At the time, the concept was innovative because the residence was in the community and the women who lived there learned skills to help them participate more fully in mainstream society. In those days the only alternatives to living at home with one’s family were the state hospital system (now called Developmental Centers) or a board-and-care situation, typically with a poor family trying to supplement its income by taking in persons with disabilities. In either case, it was purely custodial care.

The Clausen House model was different. By 1975 several residences were established and an array of skills classes were developed in partnership with the Oakland Unified School District Adult Education program. In 1976 Clausen House purchased the Lenox apartment building and initiated what is now its Independent Living Services program (ILS), the first of its kind in Northern California. Five years later, Clausen House had established a performing arts troupe, a catering company, and what is now the Supported Employment program.

Learn more about Clausen House’s history by viewing “The Hidden Struggle-Part 1.”  and “The Hidden Struggle- Part 2”.

Our Community Partners

Clausen House’s ability to continue to pioneer new programs and provide quality services that support the full spectrum of adult living is due in no small part to the members of the community-at-large who give us monetary support, in-kind donations and friendship. We gratefully acknowledge our community partners and thank them for helping us continue to offer the full battery of services that enable our clients to thrive.

Tom Steyer & Kat Taylor

HEDCO Foundation

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

San Francisco Foundation

Wells Fargo Foundation

Union Bank Foundation

Safeway Foundation

Bank of America Charitable Foundation

Curt Engelhard

Deborah Schweizer

Schweizer Law Firm

Schweizer & Lang Family

Thomas J. Long Foundation

Friends of the Clausen Family

Kaiser Permanente

Farrise Law Firm

Kazan, McClain, Satterly & Greenwood

Oakland Raiders

Golden State Warriors

Oakland Athletics Community Fund

Mechanics Bank

Union Bank

Barnes & Noble


Paramount Export Company

Dr. Edwin Clausen

Robert Carloni

Anna Carloni

Fred Commerford

Genny Chapman

Kenneth Poe

Katherine Cooper

Thomas Cooper

Roger & Karen Eliassen

Sarah Woodard

Kathleen Callahan

Andreas Neyer

Lauren Michele Horowitz

Peter & Karla Conmy

Sara Mancini

Jane Freeman

The Dayton Family

Evie Fass and Pat Mooney

Jim Callahan and Piedmont Piano

IBC of New York

Sue Malick

Beatrice Keegan

Eric Lundstrom

Carolyn Castleman

Jon & Cleo Sonneborn

Michael Picker

Peter Reinke

James Bennett

Amelia Huribut

Veronica Santana

Rosalyn Poitevin

Bed Bath & Beyond

Click to Play Media

Shelby Designs & Illustrates

Yahoo! Employee Foundation

Whole Foods


American Heart Association

Alameda County DD Council

Highland Hospital

Camping Unlimited

Waste Management of Alameda County


Blue Door Beads

Oaktown Spice Shop

Merritt Station Cafe

Numi Tea

Red Rocket Char Grill

Panorama Framing

Kuhl Frame & Art

Galleria Scola Picture Framing

Trader Joe’s

Alameda Kiwanis Foundation

Lowell Barry Foundation

The Schow Foundation

Zalec Familian & Lillian Levinson Foundation

Wayne & Gladys Valley Foundation

East Bay Community Foundation

Clorox Company Foundation Fund

Peets Coffee & Tea

Sports Basement


Walden Pond Books

Michael Mischer Chocolates

Harper Greer

Vegetarian Resource Group


Fenton’s Creamery

Piedmont Post



Fitness SF



Donahue Fitzgerald Attorneys


Piedmont Grocery

Faletti Foods

Deborah Mann Productions