History & Who We Work With

Our History

CIRCL was developed as an informal organization in 1986 with a grant from the Department of Developmental Services. Originally CIRCL focused on providing training, materials development and quality assurance measures around Supported Living Services.  In the ‘80’s and ‘90’s CIRCL collaborated with progressive thinkers such as John O’Brien, Becky Donofrio, Joe Donofrio, Bill Allen. John Shea, Joan Schmidt, Vickie Vining, Claudia Bolton, Beth Gallagher, Julia Mullen and Ellen Goldblatt and through their shared vision for a new service in California, the supported living service regulations were written.   This collaborative group was instrumental in developing the Five Principles of Supported Living.  These principles became the foundation of the CA DDS Title 17 regulations on Supported Living Services.  CIRCL was hosted under the wings of CHOICESS http://choicess.org, Allen, Shea and Associates https://allenshea.com and in 1999, when Claudia Bolton founded NorthStar Services http://www.northstarsls.org , CIRCL became a division of NorthStar, a California corporation.

In the early 1990’s Claudia Bolton and Bill Allen were developing a Supported Living agency in Solano County, CA.  While they believed that everyone had the right to live in a home of their own they were not sure how to support people with serious reputations. Here enters Michael Smull, Essential Lifestyle Planning and Person Centered Practices.  Michael provided a framework and methodology for helping the SLS agency identify what was important to the person and what others/we needed to know to support him or her successfully. In that way, individuals could have more of what was important to them as well as being healthy and safe.  The rest is history…

Over time, CIRCL’s work evolved from a focus on Supported Living to a broader focus on Person Centered Practices.  We recognized that only through being person centered practices could people get the lives they wanted and were entitled to.

CIRCL History Map

Who we work with

CIRCL has had contracts with the CA Department of Developmental Services, several regional centers including TCRC, GGRC, FNRC, RCRC, WRC, NLARC, LRC, the Sacramento County Office of Education, and numerous other service provider organizations.