The Foundation for Developmental Disabilities is the only organization in San Diego and Imperial Counties whose sole focus is to provide funding for innovative and start up programs to enhance the lives of people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Since 1986, the Foundation has provided over $7,000,000 to fund programs for organizations including Options for All, Autism Society SD, Partnership with Industry, Home of Guiding Hands, Noah Homes and Special Olympics as well as over $2,000,000 to directly assist clients of the San Diego Regional Center in emergency situations to avoid homelessness and provide necessities such as water and electricity.
The priority funding areas for the Foundation are housing, employment, family support and transportation. To address the extreme housing crisis especially for low-income housing for people with developmental disabilities, a few years ago the Foundation Board of Directors provided a grant for $700,000 to the Southern California Housing Collaborative to complete the funding package for a twelve-unit affordable housing project for the developmentally disabled. Pacifica at Playa del Sol in Otay Mesa includes 42 affordable apartments for qualifying tenants with 12-units specifically for residents with developmental disabilities – all of who are now occupied. Last year the Foundation provided a grant of $300,000 to the Southern California Housing Collaborative to complete the funding package for a ten-unit affordable housing project for the developmentally disabled at Countryside II (Girasol) Affordable Housing Project in El Centro (Imperial Valley).
During these unprecedented times, the Foundation has quickly pivoted our focus to assist clients at the San Diego Regional Center through our emergency help fund. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unimaginable hardships for these families and in many cases the families have had to choose whether to pay their rent or put food on the table. Since June of 2020, the Foundation has provided over $225,000 in emergency assistance grants ranging from $500-$1000 per client to help pay their rent, cover medical costs and help improve the quality of life of people with developmental disabilities in San Diego and Imperial Counties.
The Foundation for Developmental Disabilities is run by a passionate volunteer Board, a part time COO and two recently hired full time staff members. The Foundation staff are passionate about reaching out to smaller organizations that would otherwise be unaware of funding options and assisting them in the grant writing process. The philosophy of the Foundation is to help programs that are innovative as well as making a difference in the community and give them the extra push that could propel their work to reach a larger audience. That is why the Foundation is proud to fund smaller programs with grants ranging in size for $1500 to $100,000. The Foundation for Developmental Disabilities is proud to fund programs for low-income individuals who otherwise would not have the opportunity to be a part of the communities in which they live.