About Clausen House

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 currently support 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.

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.

Clausen House History

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.

The Hidden Struggle: An award-winning documentary about Clausen House

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 program 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 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.

Clausen House is a CARF-certified Nonprofit

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.