To create and sustain high-quality community living services and supports which are stable, secure, and lasting for people with developmental disabilities.
These services will provide a strong sense of community, meeting the complex, unique, and changing needs of each individual.
Alegria Community Living, a newly formed, public benefit non-profit agency, is funded primarily by the Regional Center of the East Bay (the agency locally designated by the Department of Developmental Services to provide mandated services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities under the Lanterman Act). In 2004, an invitation was issued to more than a dozen executive directors, parents of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and local advocates to develop a safe, stable agency focused on creating support services to individuals with developmental disabilities residing at Agnews Developmental Center. This state institution was closed in 2009, and Alegria was created in response to the need to support individuals moving from Agnews to homes in the east Bay Area of California (Alameda and Contra Costa Counties).
Funding for Alegria’s programs came via two bills passed to provide services for the individuals who resided at Agnews Developmental Center and who were moving into the community. The legislation, AB2100, made the vision and mission of Alegria Community Living a reality.
To date, Alegria has been awarded contracts from the Regional Center to develop 9 housing developments in collaboration with the Housing Consortium of the East Bay (HCEB). These include 9 Special Residential Homes, serving adults and seniors with behavioral challenges and medical needs.
Members of Alegria’s Founding group also created the Respite Inn over 15 years ago— a very successful venture which has provided much needed services in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
Consistent with the state’s Bay Area Plan (the plan for the closure of Agnews) and the Regional Centers’ Unified Placement Plan, Alegria is committed to providing the support services in homes chosen by the person served (and their families). The ownership of those homes is provided by a separate nonprofit corporation, HCEB, dedicated to maintaining housing for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in perpetuity. These homes are clearly the client’s residence, not Alegria’s properties. Alegria focuses on providing excellent support services with the goal of maintaining the client in the home environment of their choice.
Where we are now
In response to RCEB’s request to develop services for those leaving Agnews, the Founders Group has incorporated Alegria Community Living and delineated the purpose, vision, values and mission of the organization. Over many months, the founding group carefully planned the creation of Alegria, its governance and organizational structures and the services it intends to provide.
The result of their work is a values-based organization that places a strong emphasis on creating environments of wellness by addressing the specific needs and aspirations of the individuals served by the agency. Alegria supports individuals with medical, behavioral or age-related support needs. Alegria provides this support with a service flexibility which can respond to clients’ changing needs. Given the long term commitment of the agency and its focus on serving those with diverse and wide-ranging needs, Alegria is strongly committed to staffing excellence. In particular, staff training and career development within an organizational culture which honors and respects staff members is integral to Alegria. We continually strive to provide top notch compensation packages and an agency which is committed to its human service workers.
Alegria now supports individuals in 9 homes, runs small day programs for residents who couldn’t be served in traditional day programs. We also have a counseling program supervised by a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who provides supervision to Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy and Licensed Clinical Social Work Interns. More recently we have begun offering classes on Healthy Relationships & Sexuality to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities – a very important and often neglected topic.