In 2016, California Vocations, where our founder Bob Irvine was serving as executive director, began to face housing challenges. Landlords were either increasing rent to beyond affordable, or selling their properties as the real estate market went up.
As a result, supported living clients were faced with eviction, often without notice. Their support staff scrambled to find rental properties in a hurry.
A law in California disallows agencies providing supported living services to hold financial interest in the homes of their clients. Thankfully, the law is intended to protect clients. So, if they want to change providers, they can do so without changing their homes. Once they sign the rental agreement, the home is theirs.
investing in humans
Out of the need for affordable, stable housing and to align with the integrity of the system, we formed a separate nonprofit, New Beginnings Housing Foundation. Our primary mission is finding and providing dedicated housing with the core value of offering security. Most importantly, we do this by not selling homes and kicking people out.
Unlike many landlords, we are an agency that understands that a window might get broken, or carpet might need to be replaced more frequently. Furthermore, rent must remain affordable.
To us, homes are not financial investments. They are human investments.
When the devastating Camp Fire destroyed the town of Paradise, California Vocations lost 15 homes leaving all of their clients and staff homeless. Quickly, they realized that temporary shelter was not meeting the needs of their clients and they needed to find housing for people, and fast.
The state gave a temporary exemption from the financial independence regulations. Thus, California Vocations bought homes during the exemption window. This gave us time to set up the nonprofit entity. Promptly, we were able to transfer the homes to the New Beginnings Housing Foundation.
Our organization currently serves residents in Butte and Tehama Counties.
meet our board
Bob’s professional career started in the early 1980’s after graduating from Michigan State University with a degree in accounting. He worked as a Certified Public Accountant for five years with Ernst & Young accountancy where he began to specialize in the healthcare and insurance industries. For the next seventeen years, Bob provided executive management in a variety of industries including marketing and multi-national manufacturing companies.
Beginning in 2002, he was the Executive Director of California Vocations, Inc., a non-profit agency providing residential and vocational services to adults with developmental disabilities, primarily those on the autism spectrum or similar behavior characteristics. Bob was a Certified Administrator for Adult Residential facilities, coordinating services to ensure compliance with licensing and regional center regulations. In March 2019 he joined NBHF to lead the agency in filling a significant void for individuals with I/DD needing a safe, secure, and affordable home.
Bob enjoys creating a professional, positive, and team-oriented environment focusing on results that benefit our staff, clients, and community.
As a mom of a young adult son with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Teri Tapia strongly advocates for all forms of supported living services for individuals with developmental disabilities. Having such services and affordable housing available have been of utmost importance for her son’s well-being.
Teri has served on the board of a residential/supported living/day program service provider since the fall of 2018. She serves as our board secretary and a liaison between California Vocations, Inc. and New Beginnings Housing Foundation. As a parent and board member of these two organizations, Teri has learned the ins and outs of how services can best be rendered to developmentally disable persons.
Crystal Lively is a mother of two young adult son’s with disabilities. Over the past 20+ years Crystal has been a champion for both her son’s and others with special needs. Being board member in a fully inclusive nonprofit preschool, Innovative Preschool, an active parent on PTA, School Site Council and Community Advisory Councils, she has supported and influenced how inclusion and Disability Services are given. As a proactive and innovative advocate, she had resourced many nontraditional therapies and methods to give her son’s access to their greatest level of skills and independence.
Crystal is thankful and honored to bring her experience and her passion for both full inclusion and ethical business, to the mission of NBHF.
Glen Polluck has years of experience working with people with developmental disabilities.
He is a former member of the Board of Directors for Far Northern Regional Center where he served on several committees including the Self Determination Committee. He also worked for the We Care a Lot Foundation on their Abuse Prevention Team and was part of many of the organization’s other programs. Glen currently serves as the Chairperson of the Butte County Coordinating Council.
Another way he serves is by leasing a home he owns in Chico to two consumers and their Supported Living Program.
Sherri Douglas was born and raised in Chico, CA. She was part of Park Watch in Chico’s Bidwell Park and was a facilitator for the Abuse Prevention Project. Sherri also spent many years working for Far Northern Regional Center as a consumer advocate.
An owner of her own wheelchair accessible home, she has first-hand knowledge of what goes into making a house livable for differently abled people.
She is passionate about changing people’s lives and helping them to be independent and positive.
Elizabeth Dunn, CPA
Elizabeth Dunn, CPA is a full-time, tenured accounting teacher for Butte Community College. She is part owner of Trilogy Construction Company and Cornerstone Development Group. Elizabeth also creates Accounting instructional videos for the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers. Elizabeth serves as our treasurer.