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Founders House of Hope
Image by Alysha Rosly
We Achieve Epic Things
  • Residents have written books of poetry
  • Filmed a documentary about our program
  • Provided occupational preparation enabling residents to work in community
  • Discharged residents to independent living
  • Supported residents in their academic pursuits to earn certificates/degrees
         Internship Opportunity

Founders House of Hope has established internship opportunities for undergraduate students majoring in psychology, sociology, social work and human services.  Students can earn between one and two units after they are assigned to Founders for a semester and are supervised by Dr. Levy.

The schools we have a formal relationship with include:

Long Beach City College
California State University Fullerton
California State University Long Beach 
California State University Dominguez Hills.

What skills and knowledge you will acquire by interning at Founders:

Students will be exposed to the elements of a psychosocial rehabilitation program including the skill acquisition groups, how to facilitate group, basic counseling skills, pharmacotherapy and how residents are assessed and the development of a treatment plan.  Students will gain a deeper understanding of the disorders on the Schizophrenia Spectrum and Bipolar and Related Disorders.  

If you are interested in our internship program, contact Elijah at the following number:
(562) 230-3334


Founders House of Hope is a 90 bed residential care program providing psychosocial/psychiatric rehabilitation programing for consumers living with Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders and Mood Disorders.  Residents are admitted to Founders from inpatient psychiatric programs in Los Angels and Orange County, in addition to the VA in Long Beach and Los Angeles.



Program Objectives

  • Maximizing choice, increasing skills and competency and providing unconditional positive regard and support.

  • Focusing on the resident's aspirations and pursuit  of goals on their individualized treatment plan.

  • Instilling hope and vision that residents can achieve their rehabilitation goals.

  • Dedication to consumer empowerment and instilling self-determination.

  • A strong commitment to improve the programs at Founders; developing innovative skills based groups that foster desired change in the lives of residents.

The services/groups provided by Dr. Levy and staff at Founders House of Hope

include the following: 

  • Supported Employment

  • Hope and Optimism

  • Vocational Rehabilitation

  • Social Skills Training

  • Impulse Control

  • Self-Esteem Building

  • Building Resilience

  • Relapse Prevention

  • Symptom/Illness Management

  • Community Reintegration

  • Social Problem Solving

  • Creative Expression (poetry writing, art)

The psychosocial rehabilitation program and skill building groups increase our resident's functional capacity to manage their illness, increase overall level of functioning, build self-determination and enhance quality of life.  Each resident identifies their rehabilitation/recovery goals on their treatment plan and the services and supports essential to pursuing their goals are provided.  We can provide  information or refer the resident to agencies for pursuing transitional housing and employment so the resident can lead a satisfying life in the community.

The program goals include building self-empowerment, self-determination and self-sustenance. Our consumers tend to feel neglected and socially isolated making it difficult to generate a positive evaluation/self-concept. The focus of the program is identifying capabilities and interests, developing vocational skills, consumer strength and instilling optimism and hope that they can create a meaningful life and future.


The services represent reservoirs of hope.  All elements of the program contribute to creating a therapeutic milieu and environment of social caring.  

  Community Reintegration


  • Laguna Beach outing to the sea lion rescue and a picnic 

  • Picnics at Seal Beach 

  • Annual BBQ at El Dorado Park

  • Dinner outings to Belmont Shore in Long Beach

  • Participation at NAMI Walks at Irvine Regional Park

  • Visits to local museums

  • Day long outings to San Diego and La Jolla

  • Riding the Amtrak to San Juan Capistrano

  • Super Bowl pizza party

Image by Chang Duong
Fun Outdoors
One of our program accomplishments is a book /anthology of poetry that residents of Founders wrote in 2014 and a documentary we made in 2007.
In this collection of poetry, individuals living with mental illness convey in an intimate, evocative and vivid style their longing for acceptance, meaning and recovery. The therapeutic benefits for the mentally ill writing poetically is a journey of self-discovery and the writing process organizes and clarifies their situation in life. For the mentally ill, writing poetically by using imagery and metaphor is a safe passage to reclaim who one was before the illness emerged. The metaphor relies on an analogy or symbol to create new meaning by expanding the imaginative mind that ultimately pushes one into a new reality that generates insight. The metaphor is fascinating because of its power to silently express a complete picture in an instant. Individuals living with symptoms of Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder are a vessel of truth and writing poetically about suffering transforms that truth in a way that makes it meaningful and amenable to healing. What is dormant, and undoubtedly shameful to disclose is awakened, and although it describes the limitations the illness imposes in their lives, it energizes one to act in some way to heal the pain, overcome and defeat ongoing devaluation, loneliness, stigmatization and alienation. In the end, it is hope that gives life meaning and sustains faith for the good life. Without hope, one lives in despair and futility. Meaning gives one the strength to overcome. The evocative nature of poetry transforms silence, alienation and insignificance to sound. The mentally ill live in their safe, beautiful, intimate and private world. The written word-- the poem, allows one to share this experience in a public forum for others to identify with and ultimately connect them to the larger world to reduce alienation and increase integration. At some level, the healthy mind will invariably understand the depth of suffering and through empathy, the ability to take the role of the other, appreciate and render compassion to the mentally ill.

In this illuminating, intimate documentary portraying individuals with schizophrenia and mental illness, viewers witness how the mentally ill are managing their illness and leading self-directed lives at Founders House of Hope, a residential care programs for the mentally ill.   The documentary is remarkably honest as it follows residents sharing how their broken lives have been reconstituted at Founders. The courage and defiance to not surrender to their illness is revealed when a resident celebrates the publication of his autobiography titled Beyond Psychosis. In powerful candor, residents share how mental illness has not taken their life away, but presented complex challenges enabling them to discover more about themselves and their resilience. Misconceptions about mental illness will be corrected in this documentary and the effects of being marginalized and socially stigmatized will be appreciated in an acute way by viewers.  The film’s existential elements reveal how residents draw meaning and purpose in life from the psychosocial rehabilitation activities at Founders.  The pull for their creative expression in metaphor, and in the form of art, poetry and songwriting reveals in a magnificent, authentic medium how life is forever altered by incurable mental illness.  A resident in the film sums up his life through the title of his poem Tamed with Understanding.


Additional Resources


Cerritos College



If a resident is interested in returning to college, we have Cerritos Community College a couple of miles from us.  Residents interested in enrolling at Cerritos can attend and have their tuition waved because they qualify for disabled student services.  We just need to have your doctor complete a form documenting you live with a mental health condition and submit it to the college.  Dr. Levy is familiar with this process and can guide you to enrollment at the college.  Further, you are eligible for grant monies after being accepted to the college.  Several Founders residents have attended Cerritos College and they have received grants and completed coursework towards an AA degree.


We also have a relationship with the ABC Adult School and one of their instructors teaches adult functional literacy at Founders Monday through Thursday 1:00 - 3:00 The school offers a wide variety of certificate programs and below is a brief description of their offerings.  If you enroll in any of the programs you will likely receive a scholarship and tuition may be waived.

ABC Adult School



One of the school’s main focuses is the Career Technical Vocational Center which offers industry certification and state licensure, so you are ready to enter the workforce.  The center includes one of the premier computer training centers in Southern California. Our programs include Administrative Assistant, Office Assistant, Accounting Clerk, Medical Office and Billing Specialist, Medical Assistant, Pharmacy Technician, Web Design, Video Media Design, IT Technician, and our newest, upon final approval by COE, Cosmetology. The Computer Training Center, better known as CTC, is part of CTEC and offers world-class computer training using state-of-the-art equipment that includes the Windows 10 operating system and Microsoft’s Professional Office suite of software applications. Students may earn a Career Technical diploma or certificate of proficiency in any of our program areas with a full graduation ceremony every June.


Southeast Los Angeles County Workforce Development Board (SELACO)

SELACO is an occupational prep program providing many free services and resources for job seekers.  Several residents from Founders have used their services to write their resumes, learn how to interview and obtain job leads.


Their office is located one mile from Founders House of Hope.


These services include job search and placement assistance (including career counseling); labor market information; initial assessment of skills and needs; information about available services; and follow-up services for those who have been placed in jobs.

Basic services also include self-access and informational services that may be available in resource rooms or online, including:

  • Self-access assessment and career planning tools – Including interest and skill inventories, informational videos on career choices, and software to help write résumés.

  • *CalJOBs – Apply for Jobs, Assessments, Virtual Recruiter, Resume Builder, Online Learning with, English Language Learning, Financial Literacy, Job Search advice and much more.

  • Job Center Resources – phones, fax machines, copier, printer, computers, current job listings, materials, information on social service programs and more.

  • College and Adult School Catalogues – ABC, Bellflower, Downey, Norwalk–La Mirada, Southeast ROP, Cerritos College and financial aid information.

  • Bulletin Boards – Announcements for job fairs, direct hire recruitments and special events for Job Seekers and Veterans.

  • Labor Market Information – (LMI) & Sector based statistics and job forecast classes. Career exploration.

  • Direct hiring events – Job recruitments: bring résumé and dress for success. Be prepared to Interview.

Dr. Levy offers training on the following:
Elijah Levy, Ph.D.  
For a no fee consultation, email me here or call me at (562) 230-3334
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