About Us

About Us


In 1965, the California Legislature determined that the best way to provide community-based services to citizens with developmental disabilities and their families was through partnerships with local private sector organizations.
These local organizations are known as regional centers.

Harbor Regional Center is one of 21 such centers in California operating under contract with the California Department of Developmental Services. Our center began providing services in 1973. The legislation that created the regional center system is called the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act. It is named after Mr. Frank Lanterman, a California legislator with vision who first conceived this unique and progressive government-private sector partnership. The Lanterman Act sets forth in detail the mandates under which regional centers operate. The Lanterman Act is available on line at http://www.dds.ca.gov/ . Our major source of funding is a combination of state and federal government programs, but we also receive funding for specific projects or purposes from foundations, businesses, and individuals.

Harbor Regional Center is committed to providing support, information, and opportunities for choice for all of our clients and their families. Our goal is not only to provide you with information, but also to provide you with multiple means of communicating with us.

We think our website is an important tool to assist us in getting much-needed, much-requested information out to our families as well as other professionals in our field.

In this section, you will find information about Our Mission, Vision, and Core Values, our Board of Trustees, our performance, our policies, and of course, the people we serve. Just click on the drop-down menu to learn more.

In addition to the website, we invite you to receive our e-news bulletings by becoming a member of the HRC Email Network, and to visit our Facebook Page.

I also encourage you to take this opportunity to E-mail me your thoughts, comments and suggestions. We’re pleased to have you join our community of families and professionals concerned with the lives of people with developmental disabilities.

Patrick Ruppe
Executive Director
Harbor Regional Center

Our History

California’s unique service system of Regional Centers was first created in the 1960’s. Harbor Regional Center collaborated with Frank D Lanterman Regional Center and Golden Gate Regional Center to create these documentary videos, which tell the story of a group of dedicated parents, professionals, and legislators who believed that families needed a support system in the community, as an alternative to institutionalizing their children. You can view them at the links below to the F.D. Lanterman RC website.

Partners in Lifelong Support

History of Developmental Services

Documentary Videos

About Us

About Us

Our Mission

Harbor Regional Center provides quality services, support, information and choices for people with developmental disabilities and their families, to promote their participation as valued neighbors in our communities.

HRC Board of Trustees
September, 2010

Our Vision

The Harbor Regional Center Vision describes how we hope to see the world for people with developmental disabilities and their families. We hope for a future in which:

  • People with developmental disabilities live, learn, work and enjoy their leisure time with families and friends in typical communities.
  • Families are respected and empowered with early, consistent, and culturally sensitive services and supports.
  • Families are provided with  guidance as needed to help them promote their children’s development, and ensure the security and stability of their family.
  • Clients and family members are informed and knowledgeable partners with Harbor Regional Center, who take a leadership role in the governance of the service delivery system, and demonstrate responsibility in ensuring its success. 

Harbor Regional Center
Board of Trustees
December 2011

Our Core Values

Self Direction

People with developmental disabilities and their families who are knowledgeable of their rights and opportunities are able to make decisions on their own behalf, and are are in a position to exercise control of, and responsibility for their own lives. Harbor Regional Center is committed to providing support, information, and choices that can assist the people we serve and their families in making informed decisions.

Person-Centered Services

Harbor Regional Center is committed to treating individuals and family members with dignity and respect; helping individuals and families set and reach their personal goals; recognizing the right of individuals to make informed choices; building on the strengths, gifts, talents, skills and contributions of the individual and those who know and care about the individual; seeking to understand individuals in the context of their age, gender, culture, ethnicity, belief system, social and income status, education, family, and any other factors that make them unique. Harbor Regional Center is committed to Person-Centered Services.


We are committed to providing services and supports in small, individualized, integrated, and inclusive settings, in natural, as opposed to special or segregated, environments and encouraging the development of typical relationships. Harbor Regional Center is dedicated to promoting opportunities for meaningful interaction with people without disabilities, and active participation in all aspects of community life including living, learning, working and enjoying leisure activities.


We recognize we have the best chance for success if Harbor Regional Center and all the people we serve: families, service providers, legislative leaders, and funding sources, work actively together as partners who are committed to the vision and philosophy set forth in the Lanterman Act. We value our relationship with all of our partners, with whom we share responsibility for working together with a common sense of purpose, facing challenges and adversities and achieving results.

Evaluation, Innovation, Flexibility and the Pursuit of Excellence

We know effective organizations are not static. They are continually re-examining their operations, keeping abreast of the latest technologies, and experimenting with innovative pilot projects, procedures and studies to improve their service delivery. We believe when public funds are expended in exemplary, innovative ways, a worthy return on these investments is realized, as well as advancement of the state-of-the-art.

Harbor Regional Center is committed to the pursuit of excellence through this self-evaluation and renewal process. We strive to be a learning and evolving organization. We promote the development of well-trained, knowledgeable and dynamic staff and service providers, with whom we share expectations for continuous quality improvement and innovative approaches. We are committed to the development of services and supports that expand horizons, facilitate independent and productive lives, and support inclusion in the community for people with developmental disabilities.


We take pride in our long history of compassionate service delivery, combined with conscientious stewardship and accountability. Our board, staff, clients, families, and service providers are rich in experience and knowledge, and provide valuable guidance in establishing the future direction of our Center. Together we value openness, communication, accessibility, fiscal responsibility and prudent effective use of available resources. We work in partnership with our stakeholders in the exchange of ideas, and in establishing the direction of the Center, for the achievement of our shared goals. We are committed to continuing to develop strong leaders for the future.

Cultural Sensitivity

Harbor Regional Center is located in a culturally diverse geographic area and is enriched by the customs and traditions of our neighbors. We recognize, however, that this very diversity, complicated by the multiplicity of languages and dialects spoken by those we serve and their families, challenges us in many ways. We are committed to learn, to understand, and to interact in a culturally sensitive way with all of those we serve and their families. We know that our community, our organization, and our services are greatly enhanced by the cultural mosaic which characterizes the population we serve

Community-Based Services/Local Control

California’s developmental services system was designed by a public policy leader of vision – Frank D. Lanterman – to provide community-based, person and family-centered, coordinated services and supports. This is accomplished through a remarkable and effective private sector partnership which combines the best features of private sector business practice with the most compassionate and professional elements of the human services. The importance of decentralized, local control of the governance of the regional center is paramount. When all local participants (the people we serve, their families, professionals and local community leaders) shape the vision and direction of the Center, a true sense of community is nurtured and this results in a cohesive network of services and supports efficiently and responsively delivered.


Information provides individuals with developmental disabilities and their families with the knowledge to make decisions, and to be active participants in the planning and coordination of services. Information about the people we serve, our services, and our performance enables our community and legislative leaders to better understand and strengthen our service system. Harbor Regional Center believes in openness and transparency, and is committed to listening and receiving feedback, and providing timely, accurate and comprehensive information to those we serve, their families, service providers, our board, our staff, and the general public.