The need came from the call of special needs young adults’ parents concerned about the availability of quality housing, should a life event keep them from continuing to care for their children in the family home.
The search took several years from with a review of properties from Santa Barbara to Temecula and San Diego. The design envisioned was a large ARF, Adult Residential Facility, based upon community living that had not been done before. Institutional facilities had been closed down by the Lanternman Act years before and small group homes (less than 6 residents) popped up in neighborhoods throughout California.
The vision of the founder came from the search, Glennwood Foundation, dba the Lighthouse Group, and the sports leagues for his son and friends. It would be a diverse community within a community…. young men and women, living together in an inclusive and supportive environment. The challenge was in finding cities that understood and supported the concept of 40-50 young adults living in an independent residential setting, learning life skills, socially integrating, and being successful in securing employment opportunities.
Laguna Beach was one of two local cities that was excited about the program possibility.
It took a well-coordinated effort of people with heart and to bring into concept this dream from realtors, city officials, architects, builders, social workers, and charitable groups and individuals.
Thanks to a generous building owner group, monthly fundraisers, a supportive media from Laguna Beach, the OC Register and LA Times, the dream became a reality even in the midst of the economic crisis of the time.
The City of Laguna Beach unanimously approved the Conditional Use Permit in March 2011 and then renovation began Truly, blood, sweat, tears, prayers all played a role in seeing a vacant ALF, Assisted Living Facility, on Pacific Coast Highway, restored to a new ADA compliant and Community Care License approved ARF for 50 residents with terrific amenities, revitalized landscape, an organic garden, activities room and a wonderful ocean view.
The City and residents rapidly accepted each other and the doors opened August 24, 2013.