Elpida House-7-min2.jpg




Elpida Residential Programs is a private, non-profit organization that has provided caring, residential treatment for adults facing mental health problems since 1993.  Our team of dedicated mental health professionals is committed to providing high quality care in a nurturing home environment.  Residents in our programs receive daily case management and medication monitoring, intensive group therapy, daily exercise, stress management classes, recreational outings and socialization activities, and independent living skills training that is tailored to the needs of each individual.  We also offer in-home case management services to adults living in the community.

Our four homes are located in peaceful residential neighborhoods in Marin County, CA, just 20 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge.  All of the homes are conveniently located within walking distance of amenities such as shopping, restaurants, and public transportation, yet, they are also surrounded by the natural beauty for which Marin County is known.

Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the services provided by Elpida Residential Programs.  If you wish to speak with someone about the program, please contact admissions at 415 499-8613, ext. 2.

Programs & Services

Residential Treatment

The goal of our four Assisted Independent Living Homes is to provide a structured, supportive environment that allows each resident to reach his or her full potential.  The services provided are comprehensive, and include daily case management and medication monitoring, intensive group therapy, daily exercise, stress management classes, recreational outings and socialization activities, and independent living skills training in the areas of cooking, menu planning, grocery shopping, budgeting, medication management, and self-care.

Two levels of care are offered to clients, depending on their needs.  Two of our four homes have a higher staff to client ratio, and are structured to assist residents who need a higher level of support.  When ready, residents may graduate to a more independent level of care in one of our San Rafael homes, still with daily support, but with more autonomy.  All residents receive the same services regardless of where they reside within the Elpida community.  Different pricing structures exist for the different levels of care (call for current rates).

Residents are asked to commit to a minimum stay of six months, although many choose to stay beyond this time frame.

Case Management Services

Elpida Residential Programs provides in-home case management to adults who live in their own housing in the community.  This is tailored to the needs of the individual, and may include welfare checks up to three times per week, assistance with shopping, medication management, transportation to appointments, or other such activities.  A relationship is formed with one Case Manager who goes to the client’s home on a pre-determined schedule, which helps to foster a trusting working alliance.


When residents graduate from one of Elpida’s Assisted Independent Living Homes, they are offered case management services to assist with the transition to independent living in the community.  This is an important after-care service in the journey toward independence.  This service is available at a reduced rate for Elpida graduates (call for current rate).


A primary focus of Elpida Residential Programs is in the development of strong independent living skills.  Staff members work daily with residents in the homes, which allows a thorough assessment of clients’ executive functioning.  We look at the areas of time management, organization, hygiene, ability to follow through on projects, ability to use public transportation, cooking, budgeting, shopping, and overall self-care.  We strongly believe that everyone can learn these skills, and have witnessed the blossoming of greater self-confidence once these skills have been developed.

Elpida Residential Programs also hosts an Independent Living Skills Class on Friday afternoons, 1:30-3:PM.  This is a community service open to anyone who identifies as have a mental health problem, and is offered free of charge.  To register, please call 415-499-8613, ext. 18.

Employment Focus

Each resident in the program is expected to do something meaningful in the community for at least two days per week.  Research repeatedly finds that persons who feel they are contributing something to society have higher levels of self-worth and well-being.  This is especially true for persons with mental illness, who contend with the burden of feeling stigma, which frequently leaves them feeling unaccepted by society.  The added value of earning a paycheck is a highly rewarding experience for someone with an illness that interferes with vocational success.

Many of our residents begin their vocational journey with volunteer work or job coaching, so that current skills can be assessed and areas needing development can be identified.  Some work with their Care Manager to return to college or another form of vocational preparation.  In all cases, the residents’ interests and aptitude are taken into account, with staff providing genuine feedback and guidance to optimize the opportunities for success.

Treatment Focus

A primary focus of Elpida Residential Programs is to assist clients in developing the skills necessary to live a more meaningful, satisfying life.  We believe strongly that persons with mental illness can achieve this if an investment is made in understanding the reasons for past problems (repeated hospitalizations, for example), and by then developing a road map for greater success in the future.  Research consistently shows that this is most likely achieved through a combination of specific types of psychotherapy and medication.  The staff members of Elpida Residential Programs continually strive to integrate current research on the treatment of mental illness into the various therapeutic aspects of its programs.

All of our residents come together three days per week for intensive group therapy led by our professional staff.  In addition to the therapeutic benefits gained by this, the residents also enjoy socialization and a sense of community by getting to know residents in other homes.  Our current groups include Symptom Management, Expressive Arts Therapy, and Life Skills.  Additionally, residents participate in Stress Management Groups in their homes two days per week.

Our holistic approach encourages all residents to be physically active, as mental health is clearly linked to physical well-being.  To support physical activity, staff members lead a 45-minute morning exercise group Monday through Friday.

Elpida House-4-min2.jpg

Who is a good fit?

Elpida is a therapeutic community of 4 independent-living residences in San Rafael and Novato, serving adults between ages 18 and 75 with serious mental illness. We do not offer services for adolescents or children.

Elpida is a long-term residential treatment program. Residents stay a minimum of 6 months. Many people have chosen to make our community their long-term home - some residents have lived in their homes for over 15 years.

Elpida's expertise is chronic mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia spectrum disorders and mood and anxiety disorders. We do not provide substance dependency or co-occurring disorder treatment, eating disorder treatment, dementia/memory care, or skilled nursing.

Individuals with dementia, developmental disability, or medical illness in need of skilled care are better served in a setting that can meet their unique needs. 

Our residents are not at immediate risk of harm to themselves or others, and do not have active challenges with risky impulse control or self-harming behavior. Many residents come to us from inpatient or partial hospitalization programs after a period of stabilization.

Elpida believes medications can support people to achieve their treatment goals. We ask that residents be committed to taking their medications as prescribed. Daily medications can be observed, but residents must be able to hold and take their medications independently. We happily work with families to connect with appropriate doctors or seek second opinions. 

Elpida has a non-substance use policy. We do not allow use of alcohol, medical or recreational marijuana, or illicit substances in our program. We support residents to make use of recovery models and groups, as needed. Many of our residents use caffeine, nicotine, and food for self-soothing - we use harm reduction strategies in support of wellness goals.

Our homes are non-smoking. Residents may smoke in designated locations on the property, but smoking is never allowed in the homes or non-designated areas. If residents are not able to manage their smoking safely, staff may hold and distribute their cigarettes under safe conditions. 

Our primary goal is a safe environment for personal growth. Physical, verbal, emotional abuse or behaviors that jeopardize the safety of other residents cannot be tolerated and may result in eviction.

If the treatment team assesses that the resident is not safe or thriving at Elpida, we will provide the individual and caregivers with recommendations for a more appropriate treatment setting.

Elpida uses best practices in evidence-based interventions for supporting wellness of mind, body, and spirit. Adjunct interventions such as spiritual counseling, body work, nutritional counseling, specific issue-therapy groups, gym memberships are frequently sought out by individual residents, but not included in our program.

What is the program like day-to-day?

Each resident works with staff to make and implement an individualized treatment plan. Staff work with a team of people – family, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, doctors, AA sponsors,  conservators/payees – to contribute to and support that plan. After a few months, residents have a treatment conference with the team to re-calibrate the plan to best meet the resident's needs. 

Weekly attendance at all groups and activities is an essential part of our treatment program. Elpida residents attend symptom management, life skills, expressive arts, and yoga groups. On a daily basis, residents enjoy morning exercise and evening stress management/mindfulness groups. We all participate in monthly community outings, such as a day at the Marine Mammal Center, Stinson Beach, or museums in Golden Gate Park. 

Elpida is a structured independent-living program, with staff available between 9 a.m. - 11 p.m., with no holding of medications or money. We recommend that residents with impulse control issues receive money in small weekly amounts, or work with a payee. Residents are free to come and go during non-program times. Residents have 2 days a week and weekends free to pursue volunteering, school, employment, or outside activities.

All of our residents are expected to participate in meal planning and preparation, house meetings, completing a weekly household chore, and being a mindful member of a shared household. Care managers are at the homes to provide practical and emotional support, case management, and assist with coordination of appointments and activities. 

Our homes are mixed-gender, and most residents have a private room.

How do I Pay?

Elpida is a private-pay program. Private insurance, MediCare, and MediCal do not reimburse or pay for our residential and supportive services. 

Elpida provides 2 levels of care. A higher level of support where staff are present from 9 a.m. - 11 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. on weekends. We also have a more independent level of care where staff are present from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. during the week. We have no overnight staff. Fees include a furnished room; 3 meals a day; individual psychotherapy; skills groups, activities & outings; and case management.

Elpida asks residents to sign a lease for a minimum 6-month stay. This is essential for residents to get settled and for care managers to help residents develop and pursue a treatment plan. If residents chose to leave before that time, their room will be remain available for them for the remainder of their 6-month lease term. 

Elpida does accept vouchers from those enrolled through the Housing Choice Voucher Program, known as Section 8, administered by Marin Housing Authority. Details on qualifying and applying for that program are available at their website (https://www.marinhousing.org/housing-choice-voucher.html).

Many of our residents apply for and receive benefits through Social Security. Switching benefits from out-of-county to Marin provides access to county services, such as Marin Community Clinics (http://www.marinclinic.org/) and Buckelew Employment Services (http://www.buckelew.org/programs/employment.html).

Next Steps?

Please review this document to see if Elpida is a fit with your resources and needs. 

You are welcome to call admissions at 415. 419-2400 ext. 2 with additional questions and to inquire about availability.

Dr. Felch will connect you with one of our Care Managers for a tour and intake interview.

If after the interview, all parties agree the program is appropriate and there is a current opening, we can plan a date for move-in.

“I believe in Elpida Residential Programs because nowhere else have I ever felt a sense of home and peace with myself…I cannot recommend a better place.”

- Current resident, Elpida Residential Programs

“Our daughter was a resident of Elpida Residential Programs for 15 months during a most important time in her life.  After many periods of hospitalization, her severe mental illness had been somewhat stabilized through the use of medications, but she was not in a position to return to an independent living environment.  The personal assistance, structure, and kindness she received at Elpida helped her to ultimately return to college, receive a degree, live independently, work, and enjoy many of life’s rewards.”

- Parents of former Elpida Residential Programs resident

“Our son has been at Elpida Residential Programs for the last year and a half. They have proven to be highly committed to assisting the mentally ill. Their flexibility, creative approach to solving problems and willingness to work with family under the most trying circumstances has been invaluable. We highly recommend Elpida Residential Programs.”

- Parents of current Elpida Residental Programs resident