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The History Of Caminar

The Caminar agency was established in 1964 as a non-profit corporation located in San Mateo, California.  Initially envisioned to provide community-based rehabilitation support services for adults in mental health recovery, the agency’s introduction of services began with the opening of El Camino House.  This residential treatment home program was designed to provide transitional housing with support service for people who were returning to the community from a hospital setting.

In the years that have followed the opening of El Camino House, Caminar recovery, treatment, and support services have expanded dramatically.

In addition to continuing to provide innovative program services for adults and transitional age youth with mental health disabilities, Caminar now serves adults with developmental disabilities as well.  Our current community service locations include the counties of San Mateo, Solano, San Francisco, and Butte in California.  The number of people Caminar serves annually has grown from 41 individuals initially to almost 2,500.

Caminar is committed to achieving the highest standard of quality in providing services for people with disabilities.  We continue to contribute to advancements in the field through the implementation of new and innovative approaches to service and education.

Today, the agency offers a full range of related support services in four primary areas—community based supported services, supported housing, supported employment, and supported education.

The agency has offered seminars, workshops, and educational opportunities for professional healthcare providers on a variety of subjects related to community based support services.  Caminar staff has played a leading role in the development and establishment of a nationally recognized college curriculum for a Bachelor of Arts degree in community based rehabilitation support services.

For many years, the Caminar organization and staff have been strong advocates and supporters of the consumer movement and family member groups such as NAMI; the agency has also provided training in organizational development and fiscal management to help establish consumer owned and operated service organizations find success.

Caminar helped organize and support the development of a consumer conference called the Wealth of Health Conference, an all day educational event developed by mental health consumers for mental health consumers that is attended by more than 800 people.

Over the years, the agency, its staff, and the board of directors have received numerous awards for their contributions and quality of service.

A few of these awards have included:

• Best Practices;
• Agency of the Year;
• Excellence in Service;
• People Who Make a Difference;
• Housing for People With Disabilities;
• Excellence in Architectural Design.

Caminar has also been very fortunate to have received support through donations from community groups, individuals, family members, and consumers.  One of these contributing organizations, ECHO, has been making significant contributions to Caminar and the people we serve since 1968.

Caminar is committed to continuing to develop and provide innovative program services, offering opportunities to enable people with disabilities to live, work, and pursue an education in their communities—based on their choice and ability.

Firm in our mission to serve people with disabilities and promote mental health recovery, Caminar’s successful history is paving the way to a successful future for our organization, and most importantly, the individuals we serve.

We do need your help in fulfilling our community-based goals.  As a non-profit charity, we graciously appreciate the continued generosity of our benefactors as a significant source of agency funding.  Providing life-enhancing support services throughout the areas we serve, we rely on your tax-deductible donations so we can continue building upon our organization’s successful history.

Would you consider donating to Caminar so we can continue our mission—improving the quality of lives and providing real opportunities?  Thank you!