Courtney’s House is a nonprofit organization offering two programs: Vocational Training and Employment and Social & Life Skills Training for adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD), an underserved population in our community.
Vocational Training and Employment
We believe that all individuals who want to work should have the opportunity to be included in meaningful, community-based employment. We offer internship opportunities in our "from scratch" kitchen with the goal of offering work experience and one-on-one training to those we serve.
There is ample evidence that those with I/DD, given proper training and support, can become productive and dependable employees. Just ask corporations – Marriott, Walgreens, and Bank of America – or thousands of small business owners across the country!
Initially, the heart of this program was the operation of a full service cafe. In response to the ups and downs brought about by the COVID19 situation, we have remapped our vision, with the launch of the online marketplace, figfoodies.com; bringing the much loved Fig flavors to our customers' homes and keeping our interns and employees engaged and moving forward in their skill development.
Learn more about our Vocational Training Program.
Social & Life Skills Training
Adults with I/DD are less likely to recognize an unhealthy relationship and understand a harmful social situation. They are very susceptible to emotional, physical and sexual abuse.
They often are uncomfortable in social situations and have trouble understanding nonverbal communication. This impacts their ability to make friends, be successful at work, and be included in community life.
Enrichment Classes deliver the education for our Social & Life Skills Training program at Courtney’s House. Participants learn skills in a safe, accepting and relaxing atmosphere that encourages teamwork and cooperation between friends. The interactions are led by staff and include arts and crafts, music, outings in town, dining together and guest speakers.
The communication skills learned are also critical for success in our vocational training program and our interns often participate in both.
Learn more about our Social & Life Skills Training Program.
Why are we called Courtney’s House?
Courtney is a young woman with an intellectual disability. Her mother, Carrie Sanders, observed that Courtney was not thriving in the programs she was attending.
“There are many great programs in north San Luis Obispo County, but Courtney just didn’t seem to fit. She needed a smaller, more intimate environment with greater individualized attention for learning. When I could not find one, Courtney’s House was born.”
Carrie Sanders, Courtney’s House Board President
To fulfill their dream, Carrie and Greg Sanders bought a Victorian home in Templeton, built in 1892, to provide activities for their daughter Courtney and her friends. Courtney’s House opened in 2012 as a safe and supportive environment to build social and life skills for adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.
However, during group discussions, the participants consistently raised concerns about their futures and lack of employment opportunities.
When Carrie met Chris Dillow, a successful restaurant owner who also had a passion for helping those with intellectual disabilities, the two immediately hit it off and a vocational training program for interns realized the dream and mission of Courtney’s House.
"There is a plan and a purpose, a value to every life, no matter what its location, age, gender or disability" Sharron Angle
Courtney’s House provides a safe and caring environment to learn vocational, social and life skills while we advocate for inclusion and opportunity for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, so they may live fully in our community.
Empowering adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to achieve a safe and meaningful place in our community.