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Our History & Facts:

Our History:

Friends of Bethesda is a 501-C-3 non profit agency providing a range of services to persons with developmental disabilities. From its first organizational meeing in 1950. Articles of incorporation were filed February 20th, 1952 and the first facility opened with 19 clients in Terra Bella, California in 1956. Good Shepard was created by Norma and Paul Yorde. Their son, Donnie, born with Down Syndrome, was not expected to live ver long. It was suggested that he be placed in an institution, but Norma refused. While planning for Donnie's future and his increasing medical needs, they insisted on creating an environment that was family-oriented and community based.

Client Goals:

We strive to enhance quality of life by facilitating community inclusion, client choice and self-directed lifestyle. Good Shepard teaches daily living skills, provides community living options, supports and assists clients transitioning to an independent living situation, coordinates healthcare needs, and supports and coordinates employment goals. We work with clients to facilitate personal outcomes in the areas of identity, autonomy, affiliation, attainment, safeguards, rights, health, and wellness set out by The Council on Quality and Leadership in Supports for people with Disabilities (The Council).

Who we Serve and Services areas:

Our clients are children and adults with develpmental disabilities, including (but not limited to) Mental Retardation, Autism and Down Syndrome. Ages range from 2 months old to 89 years old. Clients have a wide range of abilities. Some need a high level of medical and social support, while others utilize support that allows them to live in the community with as much independence as possible. Most referrals come from local regional centers and Develpmental Pathways, our local community center board. Clients need not be Lutheran to receive services. With an administrative office in Fountain Valley, California, programs operate outside of regional offices in Southern, Central and Northern California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington.

Program Services:

A range of services responds to unique needs in each region including long-term care, independent living skills and support living skills (both in homes and in independent living situations), mental and physical health care, vocational skills, and social development. We provide beyond that of the very basic services paid for by client entitlement benefits to ensure that the needs of the whole person are addressed. We support a family environment based upon caring and respect. Social activities help clients acheive growth in personal goals and facilitate social inclusion. Clients are encouraged to be an active participant in the community and home life.


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