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California MENTOR: Bringing Caring Closer


Adam is like most guys who are 24 years of age. He enjoys video games, movies, and hanging out with his friends. He has a job and likes going to work every day. However, as an adult with a developmental disability, Adam’s story is a little different.

For many adults like Adam, home is often a group setting with as many as five other people living with him. In some cases, it means sharing a bedroom. And because everyone in the home gets to have a say in what activities are planned and what meals are prepared, it also means that sometimes the little things, like going down the street for an iced coffee or to visit a friend, aren’t possible without advance planning. But with the help of California MENTOR’s Family Home Agency (FHA), Adam is now living with a family of his choosing and getting to have a real say in the direction of his life.

In California MENTOR’s FHA program individuals live in private family homes in the community with trained providers — who are call Mentors. Because this model is geared towards the needs of the individual, it is highly flexible and focused on personal choice for the Mentor and the person receiving services. Adam joined Dawn and Jesse’s household in July of 2010 where the family also includes Jesse’s mother and their two dogs.

“It’s like I’m an adult, but with a family; people care about me,” Adam said. “I have my own bedroom, I get good food and Dawn and Jesse are awesome!”Dawn and Jesse are equally excited about having Adam in their home.

“He has shown improvement in so many ways,” Dawn explained. “Adam is able to sit and have calm conversation now, when before that was a challenge for him. He is able to slow down and think about his choices and decisions before he makes them.”

Adam is very appreciative of everything his Mentors do for him. “I enjoy spending time with Jesse and Dawn. They make me feel like a part of the family.”

California MENTOR is the state’s most experienced Family Home Agency (FHA), providing shared living experiences for hundreds of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in neighborhood homes like yours. Their nurturing caregivers, called Mentors, deliver personalized services in their own homes where individuals can feel safe, supported and surrounded by the people and places they love.

California MENTOR believes “a home is more than a house — it’s where we develop lasting relationships and share our lives with the people we call family.” At California MENTOR they are building relationships and family connections through their Family Home Agency.

Individuals who receive services in family homes have varying degrees of developmental disabilities such as intellectual disabilities, autism, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy or brain injury. Some of them require a high level of care and others are more independent and able to hold jobs and participate in a variety of community activities. Individuals are matched with Mentors whose skills and lifestyle fit with the care needs of the individual.

You can make the dream of living in a family home become a reality for many more individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities throughout California. California MENTOR invites you to become a Mentor and embark on an experience that is both challenging and rewarding.

They provide the skill development resources for you to be successful from initial placement to ongoing support for you and the individual living in your home. Additionally, they offer a generous rate of reimbursement to help make your Mentor commitment a possibility. Programs are located throughout California and information sessions are held weekly at all locations.

For more information on how you can become a Mentor, call 1-855-MENTOR2 or visit their website at

Founded in 1997, California MENTOR is a partner of The MENTOR Network, a national network of local human services providers with over 30 years of experience providing quality services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

In addition to the Family Home Agency program, California MENTOR also offers the following services: adult day programs, early intervention, family behavioral services, specialized residential homes, intermediate care facilities, transitional group homes, and supported living services.


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California MENTOR also hosts events that are open to all community members, such as FHA Informational Sessions, Open Houses, Mentor Coffee Hours and more! 

Check out our Events Calendar in the Become a Mentor section for more information and to find an event near you.