Sonoma Developmental Center

Embracing a Future of Possibilities

Sonoma Development Center (SDC) provides person-centered planning, services, and supports to people with developmental disabilities so that they have the opportunity to achieve their potential.

VALUES

  • A philosophy of serving others, dedicated to residents, staff, and stakeholders through timely, considerate, competent, and committed actions.
  • An organization built on respectful relationships that honors choice, rights, trust, and communication.
  • The responsible management of resources–fiscal, physical, and human–through planning and preservation. The promotion of leadership at all levels because we are responsible, innovative, dynamic, and inclusive.

SDC has a history in meeting the needs of people with developmental disabilities by providing an extensive array of services that promote ongoing health, learning, self-advocacy, and increased independence. SDC continuously offers innovative social, recreational, educational, vocational, and other programs.


Public Information

For public information please contact the Assistant to the Facility Director/Public Information Officer at (707) 938-6143. Members of the media who would like a tour should complete and submit the Media Access Request and Agreement PDF form.

Additional Information

Charlotte Jones, Facility Director
15000 Arnold Drive, Eldridge, CA 95431
Public: (707) 938-6000
Fax: (707) 938-6174
Public Information and Tour Arrangements
History
Program Descriptions
Language Assistance Services
Job Opportunities
Location and Directions
Eldridge Press
News and Updates


History

Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC) is the oldest facility in California established specifically for serving the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities. The facility opened its doors to 148 residents on November 24, 1891, culminating a ten-year project on the part of two prominent Northern California women who had children with developmental disabilities.In 1883, Julia Judah and Frances Bentley were responsible for forming the California Association for the Care and Training of Feeble Minded Children. Its aim was “to provide and maintain a school and asylum for the feeble-minded, in which they may be trained to usefulness.”

When the Santa Clara home became inadequate a few years later, the legislature appointed a commission and appropriated $170,000 to purchase land, construct facilities and handle commission expenses. The commission included Captain Oliver Eldridge, after whom the community of Eldridge is named. Following lengthy legislative battles over the proposed funding, the commission selected the present site: a 1640-acre parcel which featured an ample water supply, drainage, and two railroad lines that passed through the property.

The facility at Eldridge has undergone many significant changes, including four name changes. In 1909, the name was changed from the California Home for the Care and Training of the Feeble Minded to the Sonoma State Home. In 1953, Sonoma State Home became Sonoma State Hospital; and in 1986, the name was changed to Sonoma Developmental Center. Over the years, the facility has expanded several times, including two major expansions: A thirteen million dollar expansion program was initiated in 1948, and another five million dollars was appropriated in 1956. The most recent renovation took place between 1979 and 1982, during which all the living units were renovated at a cost of about one million dollars per building, primarily to improve safety, privacy and individualized care.

Many changes over the last 110 years include attitudes, philosophies, values, and beliefs in regard to the treatment of developmentally disabled people. There is one constant that ties the present and the future to every epoch of the Center’s history: As society’s understanding of developmental disabilities has improved, SDC has consistently responded by improving services. SDC has always been and will always be committed to continuous improvement of its comprehensive array of therapeutic services.

SDC

An Early Picture of Sonoma Developmental Center

SDC

SDC Summerfest 2015


Program Descriptions

Nursing Facility (NF) Services includes two programs: Program 2 has six residences that focus on treating acute or chronic severe medical conditions and Program 3 has four residences that focus on treatment for acute and chronic medical conditions.NF Services provides individualized and high quality nursing care for the promotion of physical and emotional health. Many of the individuals served have experienced acute or chronic medical conditions. Common medical conditions may include neuromuscular and sensorimotor deficits, feeding and respiratory difficulties necessitating supplementary oxygen, gastrostomy or tracheostomy care, end of life care, and other nursing conditions which require 24 hour care from skilled level of care staff.

NF Services provides highly skilled staff trained in restorative nursing care, alternative positioning, range of motion, respiratory support, and assistance in activities of daily living. Adaptive equipment is utilized to maximize independence and self-reliance. Individuals participate in a variety of activities which focus on sensory stimulation, communication, socialization, and leisure. Staff support a compassionate, calm, and supportive environment.

Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) Services has five residences that provide positive behavioral supports to assist individuals in living more independent lives and opportunities for personal growth. Age ranges from early adulthood to elderly adults. The Interdisciplinary Teams (IDTs) and caretakers focus on social skills development, fostering interpersonal relationships, and development of independent living skills. They provide services to adults with intellectual developmental disorders and behavioral and psychiatric conditions such as autism spectrum disorder, pica mood disorders and behaviors that interfere with living in a less restrictive setting. ICF Services also provides behavioral supports with highly specialized medical and nursing supports to assist individuals in living more independent lives and provides opportunities for personal growth. The IDTs and caretakers focus on sensory integration, social skills development, fostering interpersonal relationships and development of independent living skills.

ICF Services is committed to utilizing positive supports that include the individuals we serve. All individuals are provided opportunities to attend daily programs provided by Central Program Services and on-unit and off-campus activities. Individuals served are provided training opportunities to achieve their life goals, attain increased independence, exercise their rights and self-advocacy and make choices in their daily lives.


Language Assistance Services

Sonoma maintains a language assistance policy and provides language assistance services for residents and families in accordance with Section 1259 of the California Health and Safety Code (Assembly Bill 389, Chapter 327, Statutes of 2015). To find out more about language services that are available, please click on the following link:


Job Opportunitites

Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC) is a California state civil service employer. In order to be considered for a position at SDC, you must have eligibility on a State of California hiring list or be a current or former State of California employee. You can attain eligibility on the hiring list by applying for and successfully competing in a competitive examination process. Applications and examination announcements can be downloaded at the California Department of Human Resources or can be obtained by calling (707) 938-6923 or (707) 938-6811.
Telephone Contact:
  • Job Hotline: 1-800-999-JOBS
  • SDC Human Resources: (707) 938-6923 or (707) 938-6811
Email:
SDC accepts appropriate volunteers over the age of 14. Volunteers are welcome in many areas, including classrooms, worksites and in recreational areas. Assignments are also available in our landscaping department and in the client library. A background check and medical clearance is required of all new volunteers. To register as a volunteer, please contact the Volunteer Office at (707) 938-6713.

We accept donations of new and like-new items, including clothing, some furniture and household items, sporting goods, toys and recreational items. Monetary donations are always welcome and all funds donated are used entirely as the donor directs. To make a donation, you can contact the Volunteer Office at (707) 938-6713 or mail the donation directly to:

Sonoma Developmental Center
P.O. Box 961
Eldridge, CA 95431


Location & Directions

Concord Area I-680 to SDC:

Take I-680 towards Martinez approximately 7 miles. After you cross the Benecia Bridge, stay in the left lane, which turns into I-780. Travel another 7 miles and take the I-80 exit towards Sacramento. Merge onto I-80 and travel another 3 miles. Take the Marine World exit which will go up over the freeway. Stay in the left lanes. Travel another 2 miles (the 3rd intersection light) and make a right turn onto Highway 29. Continue northbound on Highway 29 approximately 10 miles. Stay to the left when you reach the Y intersection and go towards Calistoga. Travel approximately another mile to the intersection and turn left onto Highway 12 towards Sonoma. Travel another 5 miles to the next intersection light. Right before the intersection, veer to the right onto Napa Road (just before Stornetta’s Dairy). Travel another 5 miles on the winding road (the road changes names), but do not make any turns until you reach Arnold Drive. Turn right onto Arnold Drive and travel approximately 6 miles and it will take you right into Sonoma Developmental Center.

Vallejo to SDC via Highway 12:

Travel north on Sonoma Boulevard until it turns into Highway 29. Continue northbound on Highway 29 approximately 10 miles. Stay to the left when you reach the Y intersection and go towards Calistoga. Travel approximately another mile to the intersection, then turn left onto Highway 12 to Sonoma. Travel another 5 miles to the next intersection light. Right before the intersection, veer to the right onto Napa Road (just before Stornetta’s Dairy). Travel another 5 miles on the winding road (the road changes names), but do not make any turns until you reach Arnold Drive. Turn right onto Arnold Drive and travel approximately 6 miles and it will take you right into Sonoma Developmental Center.

15000 Arnold Drive, Eldridge, CA 95431
Public: (707) 938-6000
Fax: (707) 938-3605
TTY: (707) 938-6548

Vallejo to SDC via Highway 37:

At the intersection of Sonoma Avenue and Highway 37, turn onto Highway 37 and travel towards Novato for about 6 miles. At the lighted intersection, make a right onto Highway 121. Follow Highway 121/12 as it twists and turns. At the first Y intersection, go straight to the 4-way stop and continue on Hwy 116. At the next Y in the road, stay to the right as it turns into Arnold Drive. Follow Arnold Drive approximately 7 miles and it will take you into Sonoma Developmental Center.

I-80 Oakland/Berkeley to SDC:

Travel I-80 east to the Richmond Bridge exit. After crossing the bridge, get on 101 north. Travel on 101 north about 18 miles until you come to the Highway 37 Vallejo/Napa turnoff. Take the exit and travel 4 miles on Highway 37; at the 2nd intersection light, make a left onto Highway 121. Follow 121 as it twists and turns. . At the first Y intersection, go straight to the 4-way stop and continue on Hwy 116. At the next Y in the road, stay to the right as it turns into Arnold Drive. Follow Arnold Drive approximately 7 miles and it will take you into Sonoma Developmental Center.

Golden Gate Bridge to SDC via Highway 101:

Travel north on Highway 101 for 22 miles until you reach the Highway 37 Vallejo/Napa turnoff. Take the exit and travel 4 miles on Highway 37; at the 2nd intersection light, make a left onto Highway 121. Follow 121 as it twists and turns. At the first Y intersection, go straight to the 4-way stop and continue on Hwy 116. At the next Y in the road, stay t the right as it turns into Arnold Drive. Follow Arnold Drive approximatly 7 miles and it will take you into Sonom Developmental Center.

Sacramento Area to SDC via I-80:

Travel west on I-80 towards San Francisco for approximately 42 miles. About 5 miles past Fairfield, take the Napa exit onto Highway 12. Travel approximately 9 miles on Highway 12 until you reach the intersection of Highway 12 and Highway 29. Make a right onto Highway 29 and travel another mile. You will to come a Y intersection; stay on the left going towards Sonoma and Calistoga. Travel another mile until you see the sign for Highway 12 to Sonoma. Turn left onto Highway 12. Travel another 5 miles to the next intersection light. Right before the intersection, veer to the right onto Napa Road (just before Stornetta’s Dairy). Travel another 5 miles on the winding road (the road changes names), but do not make any turns until you reach Arnold Drive. Turn right onto Arnold Drive and travel approximately 6 miles and it will take you into Sonoma Developmental Center.


Eldridge Press

Sonoma Developmental Center generates the Eldridge Press whose audience includes residents and their families, service providers, and other stakeholders. Articles feature the people who live and work there, and include information about the facility, partnerships with other service providers, facility-wide events, and activities and services provided at the Center. We hope you enjoy reading the current issue of the Eldridge Press!


News & Updates


Contact Information:

May 6, 2017

January 28, 2017

June 27, 2015

June 4, 2015


Last modified: August 28, 2020