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Wayfinders at Fresno State

Fresno State Wayfinders

About Us

Wayfinders is a 2-year non-degree inclusive independent living certificate program for young adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Participants of Wayfinders enhance their independence by residing in student apartments, participating in work experience internships, enrolling in courses at Fresno State through Open University, and actively participating in the community.

Wayfinders is recognized as a Comprehensive Transition and Post-Secondary Program and participants who complete the program receive a Work Readiness and Life Skills Certificate.


Mission: The Wayfinders mission is to provide person-centered supports and services which advance self-determination, quality of life and life-long learning for students with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Students of Wayfinders achieve their potential through campus inclusion experiences, independent living arrangements, and vocation placements both on and off campus.

Vision: Our vision is that students who complete Wayfinders will have productive and fulfilling lives in the settings of their choosing.

Philisophy: Wayfinders adheres closely to the Person-Centered Planning model. Person-centered planning attempts to identify and highlight the unique talents, gifts, and capabilities inherent in everyone. The planning focuses on the individual and his/her strengths, preferences, interests and needs (SPINs). It involves a whole team of family members, friends, professionals, and student. The team members are chosen by the student to help identify skills and abilities which can help achieve goals of competitive employment, independent living, continuing education and full inclusion in the community. The team then identifies where the student may need assistance and support and how to meet those needs.

62% living independently
79% in paid employment
58% continuing education
94% very satisfied or satisfied with social life

Participant Testimonials

"Wayfinders helped me to learn how to take good notes, manage my calendar and time, shop for groceries independently, cook safely, and live within my budget. I enjoyed going to Fresno State classes, making new friends, and gaining work experience." - Peter Economy Jr., Wayfinders student, Fresno, CA

"Wayfinders helped me find a job that best suited my needs and strengths. I liked how there I received support in all domains. Staff was really helpful in my learning of how to clean, cook, and be a successful student." - Jeff Mintz, Wayfinders student, Santa Barbara, CA

"I learned so much at Wayfinders! I loved my cooking, hip-hop and art classes. I learned to manage my money and report my wages to SSI. I learned to believe in myself and do things on my own." - Marissa Erickson, Wayfinders student, Alameda, CA

"I learned how to budget, use public transportation, and talk a lot more. The program encouraged me to get involved in community activities and I learned that I enjoy volunteering!" - Jacob Mason, Wayfinders student, Novato, CA 

"While attending Wayfinders, I became an advocate and followed my dreams for the future!" - Nathan Lumpkin III, Wayfinder student, Antioch, CA

Family Testimonials

"There are not enough good things for me to say about Wayfinders and what it's done for our family. Our goal for our son has always been to gain as much independence as possible. In two short years, he gained far more than any of us ever imagined. He made progress in every domain and his life has completely changed as a result. This young man that specialists told us would likely never gain meaningful communication/language abilities, gave a speech that people understood!" Wayfinders is a model for inclusive education and promoting self-determination and self-advocacy for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Particiapntsin Wayfinders turn their potenital into progess with just the right level of support and encouragement." - Angela Mason, Wayfinders parent, Novato, CA

"In August, we dropped off our distraught daughter with severe separation anxiety who wasn't even able to spend the night at her grandmother's house. In Juse, we picked us a young woman who was looking forward to moving into her own apartment in a city that was an hour away from us! While Wayfinders didn't "fix" her anxiety/self-esteem issues, the difference in her was beyong anything I could have hoped for. She learned how to live on her own at Wayfinders and she is now living a life of independence. I am pleased and impressed wiht the Wayfinders program! The program is responsibe to each student's individual needs. Wayfinders challenged her. Her struggles and even mistakes were all part of the process of learning/growing. I wholeheartedly recommend Wayfinders!" - Seth Kimball, Wayfinders parent, Berkeley, CA

"A cutting-edge program and the best experience for our son on the spectrum. All of the staff are invested and share the values of independent living successfully. If we were to have the opportunity to do it over again, all we could ask for is a few more years. Thankful for such an opportuntiy for our son." - Tiffany Herron-Lumpkin, Wayfinders parent, East Bay, CA

"It was wonderful to watch our son blossom from a shy, quiet boy to a confident, independent, and funny young man during his time at Wayfinders. The support he received from his coaches and case manager helped him accomplish his goal of independence." - Carol Michael, Wayfinders parent, Sacramento, CA
"Our son had a remarkable experience at Wayfinders, and we were very pleased with his teachers, coaches, and other staff. We especially liked the efforts Wayfinders made to integrate our son and the other program participants into the general student body -- living in an apartment building just off campus were many students live, taking regualr classes, and participating in student activities such as going to concerts and basketball and other varsity games. My wide and I highly recommend the Wayfinders program at Fresno State -- our son achieved his dream of attending college while expanding his independent living skills, and his confidence grew as a direct result." - Peter Economy Sr., Wayfinders parent, San Diego, CA 

"We are very happy with the mature, self-condifent young woman our daughter has become while she was away at the Wayfinders program. Wayfinders gave her the opportunity to be successful while learning important life skills and independent living skills in a nurturing, supportive environment. We are very grateful to the staff and coaches for providing her with the tools she'll need to live a rich, fulfilling, and meaningful life." - Vicky Halliday, Wayfinders parent, Pleasant Hill, CA

Attend an Information Session

Areas of Support


All Wayfinders participants live in the off-campus housing of Palazzo at Campus Point and receive individualized support by Residential staff to learn the skills necessary to develop a chore routine,  maintain a clean/tidy apartment, establish and uphold a personal budget, pay bills, plan and prepare meals, and shop for groceries.

More about Residential



Wayfinders participants are provided work experience and classroom opportunities to learn skills in preparation for competitive integrated employment. Our Career Development Class focuses on topics such as work ethic, workplace communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and accountability.
More about Vocation

University Inclusion


Research findings reveal that students with intellectual disabilities who have some type of post-secondary education were more likely to obtain employment, require fewer supports, and have increased self-esteem. Wayfinders participants register for a minimum of 6 Fresno State units per semester. 
More about University Inclusion

Community Inclusion

Wayfinders participants participate in a variety of activities during their free time. Students are given the opportunity to choose the activities they would like to participate in and are supported and encouraged to try new experiences.
More about Community Inclusion


Wayfinders participants are supported in ensuring their transition into their chosen community is structured and goal-oriented enabling the participant to have a productive and fulfilling life in the setting of their choosing.
More about Transition

Case Management

Case Managers provide direct support in order to promote participant independence and self-efficacy. The goal is to guide students towards utilizing natural supports and other resources to fulfill their activities of daily living.
More about Case Management

Sample Participant Schedule

Wayfinders staff support participants in learning how to utilize Google Calendar to schedule classes, tutorials, workshops, work experience, residential tasks, social activities, and other personal appointments. By referring to this on their computer, smartphone and/or tablet daily, students are able to manage their day and ensure that they attend and arrive on time to their commitments. Every participant's schedule will look different depending on their individualized supports and preferences. Here is an example of what a typical participants' schedule might look like during a week of their first year of programming:

Future Participants

Estimated Annual Cost of Wayfinders Programming

Wayfinders makes every effort to keep programming affordable for its participants. Wayfinders is a 2-year program that operates Aug 1-June 30 (11 months per academic year.)

 Expense Type

Annual Estimate

Student Fees

Groceries, Transportation, Social, and Personal Expenses $6,160 

Housing and Utilities


Community Activity and Independent Living Support

Total individual/family contribution with regional center funding:  
Total individual/family contribution for private pay: 

Regional Center Funding

If the participant has aged out of services offered by their school district, receives services from a California regional center, has a regional center service coordinator, and together have created independent living goals as part of their Individual Program Plan that matches what Wayfinders offers, the Regional Center may fund the Community Activity and Independent Living Support. It is the responsibility of the participant/family to confirm with their regional center service coordinator before applying to Wayfinders. 

Work Experience Income

Every semester, participants are assigned to job sites where they acquire valuable paid work experience. They incorporate this income into their weekly budgets to assist with covering expenses such as groceries, transportation, social outings, and other personal needs.

SSI/SSDI and CalFresh

Many participants utilize these programs to reduce their housing and grocery expenses. The participant/family must enroll in programs such as SSI/SSDI and CalFresh before entering the program.

Financial Aid

Wayfinders is a  Comprehensive Transition and Post-Secondary Program. This allows Wayfinders students to apply for federal financial aid using the California State University, Fresno school code.  It is the responsibility of the participant/family to submit a FAFSA for financial aid consideration each year. We recommend submitting the FAFSA before the priority deadline (which may change from year to year.) Questions regarding Financial Aid should be directed to Fresno State's Financial Aid Office.

WAG (Wayfinders Assistance Grant)

The WAG is a resource for current Wayfinders participants experiencing unanticipated financial roadblocks that can impact program completion and well-being. WAG was established through generous contributions from the community and private donors. The amount of a single award may be between $50 and $15,000 per academic year and is based on need as verified by the Financial Aid Office according to the student's FAFSA application. Applications must be received no later than the 4th week of the Spring semester during the academic year for which a student is applying. For example, if applying for the 2023-2024 academic year, the applicant must submit the WAG application by the 4th week of the Spring 2024 semester. WAG is not a loan and does not need to be repaid. WAG applications should only be submitted for participants who meet the following criteria:

  • Currently attending Wayfinders and making Satisfactory Progress toward a Wayfinders certificate of completion.
  • Currently enrolled in a minimum of 6 units at Fresno State.
  • Must have submitted a FAFSA (see Financial Aid section above) for the same academic year for which they are applying for the WAG.
  • Adhering to the University Code of Conduct and acting as a model Wayfinders student with minimal negative Behavior Event Records (BERs.)
  • Be able to provide on the application a detailed itemized list of how funds will be utilized along with qualifying examples:
  • Utilities/Rent
  • Medical expenses
  • Student and Program Fees
  • Books/Course Materials/Technology

What are the criteria to attend the Wayfinders Program?
Please see Eligibility Criteria section below.

What makes Fresno State the ideal location for this kind of program?

  • CSUs are more affordable than UC schools
  • CSUs provide a more immersive and comprehensive higher education experience compared to most community colleges
  • Fresno State's core values of exploration, excellence, inclusion, and community
  • Fresno State's large rance of clubs and athletics
  • Fresno State's focus on community service
  • Fresno State's wide range of student success services such as the Center for Essential Needs, Student Cupboard, and Money Mangement Center
  • Wayfinders' close partnership with the Services for Students with Disabilities office
  • The cost of living in Fresno is up to 57% lower than other major cities in California
  • Fresno State National Rankings
    • Fresno State is ranked No. 54 in the nation by Washington Monthly magazine in 2021 for its focus on social mobility, research, and service to the community. Fresno State is the only California State University to make the top 100.
    • Fresno State ranked No. 7 in MONEY Magazine’s 2020 Best Colleges rankings for Most Transformative Colleges.
    • U.S. News and World Report’s 2022 Best College Rankings
      • #3 among public national universities for graduation-rate performance for the past five years
      • #21 in Top Performers in Social Mobility
      • #53 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs
      • #107 among all national public universitiesFresno State is ranked No. 54 in the nation by Washington Monthly magazine in 2021 for its focus on social mobility, research, and service to the community. Fresno State is the only California State University to make the top 100.

Will I earn a degree by attending Wayfinders?
No. Wayfinders participants do not earn a degree through Wayfinders. To earn a degree from Fresno State, an individual must meet Fresno State Admission Requirements, apply, and be accepted to Fresno State as an enrolled undergraduate or graduate student.

Wayfinders participants earn a Certificate of Completion from our program. Having a Certificate of Completion from Wayfinders signifies that the individual has increased their level of independence through significant progress in maintaining a living space, personal finance, self-advocacy, academic exploration, competitive employability, and social competency.

Will I take classes at Fresno State while in the Wayfinders program?
Yes. Wayfinders participants enroll in Fresno State classes through Fresno State's Open Univeristy program, which permits members of the general community to take Fresno State classes after enrolled undergraduate/graduate students have registered and where space is still available in the class. Wayfinders students take a minimum of 6 units per semester, including Career Development. Students will work with staff on identifying classes of interest and develop a draft course schedule each semester. For more information about academics in the Wayfinders program, please see our University Inclusion page.

How long is the Wayfinders Program?
The duration of the program is 2 years. 

What are the start and finish dates of a program year?
Participants start August 1st and the program year ends on June 30th. Students return home for the month of July, Thanksgiving break, Winter break, and Spring break. 

Can the student return home every weekend?
The Wayfinders program operates 7 days a week. The weekend may consist of residential workshops, academic tutorials, social activities, and work experience. If the student would like to visit home, they will need to submit a travel request 2 weeks prior to the date of travel. See the Sample Participant Schedule section above.

Do the Wayfinders' students live on the Fresno State campus?
No. Wayfinders' participants live at the Palazzo apartments, located right next to campus.

Is the Wayfinders program vendorized by the Regional Center?
Yes. If you are a client of a regional center, speak to your service coordinator about the possibility of your regional center providing funding for you to attend the program.

Can I enroll in Wayfinders if I am not a client of a Regional Center?
Yes. There is a private pay option. Please see the Fees and Expenses page for more details. 

Does Wayfinders offer 24/7 support?
No. Coaches are scheduled from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm Monday through Friday and from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm on weekends. Participants are not supervised after this time. However, there is a staff member on call after hours in the case of an emergency.

  • Is 18-28 years old
  • Has a diagnosed intellectual and/or developmental disability and can provide documentation of diagnosis
  • Will have completed high school with a diploma or certificate of completion prior to August 1
  • Has a strong desire to live independently after completion of Wayfinders and parents/guardians who support their progress toward independence
  • Is comfortable with a dynamic schedule and has intrinsic motivation to participate in all components of Wayfinders programming (Residential, Vocation, University Inclusion, Community Inclusion, Transition, Case Management)
  • Is able to complete their daily needs (bathing, dressing, feeding,) access their physical environment, and safely function with minimal to no supervision
  • Is able to accurately and independently manage medications
  • Is able to communicate needs effectively
  • Has appropriate social behavior including getting along with peers, following rules, and accepting supervision
  • Is currently working, volunteering, or enrolled in high school, community college, or a training program
  • Has alternate residence for holiday breaks
  • Is free of any communicable diseases that are transmissible by casual contact, has all immunizations up to date, and has health insurance coverage

Wayfinders is not appropriate for all individuals.

Wayfinders is not appropriate for individuals who have a psychiatric and/or emotional disturbance that impacts behavior, have serious medical conditions that require monitoring or intervention, and/or require 24-hour supervision. Wayfinders does not provide 24/7 on-site support.

Wayfinders prioritizes participant safety and respect. Our philosophy and approach allow participants to make decisions that affect all aspects of life and we promote the dignity of risk and the right to failure; as such enhancing the participant's experience while at Wayfinders.

Our application period for the 2024-2025 academic year has closed. We will begin accepting applications for the 2025-2026 academic year in October, 2024.

1. Eligibility Criteria: Carefully read our eligibility criteria above. If all criteria are met, proceed to Step 2.

2. Funding: Review the cost of Wayfinders programming and determine whether you and your family will fully fund the cost of programming, or if you expect to receive funding from your regional center. It is the responsibility of the applicant/family to confirm with their regional center service coordinator before applying to Wayfinders. You may direct your service coordinator to our website if they need additional information to make that determination. 

3. Attend an Information Session: Both the applicant and family are required to attend a Wayfinders Information Session before submitting an application. A session must be attended by the applicant and family within one year of applying. During this Information Session, all aspects and goals of the program will be reviewed and discussed during a presentation with an opportunity for questions and answers by the Wayfinders’ staff. After the presentation, it will continue with a tour of the Palazzo apartment complex, where students of Wayfinders must live. The Wayfinders Information Session does not provide a tour of the Fresno State campus.

*4. Regional Center Reference: Contact your Regional Center Service Coordinator to complete our Regional Center Reference Form. Applicants who do not receive regional center services may skip this step.

*5. Apply Online: You will need to create a username and password to begin the application and so that you may save your progress as you work on completing it. Please note, you will be required to upload the following documents as part of the application:

  • A recent photograph of the applicant
  • High school transcript
  • High school diploma OR certificate of completion or equivalent
  • College transcripts, if applicable
  • Most recent IEP or Exit IEP
  • Immunization Records
  • Personal Statement Video
    • The video shall not exceed 3 minutes and 100 MB
    • Your personality and creativity should shine throughout the video
    • Record yourself at different locations and activities that you participate in
    • Applicant must be in 90% of the video; the PRIMARY CHARACTER of focus
    • Your name and the city you are from.
    • Why do you want to be accepted into Wayfinders?
    • What do you want to learn while at Wayfinders?
    • Things you like to do in your free time. Describe interests, hobbies, and recreational activities
    • Are there specific college classes you are interested in taking? Why or why not?
    • What are your job interests?
    • What are you most excited about when you move into your own apartment?
    • Where do you envision yourself after completing Wayfinders?
  • Optional: Recent Psychological Evaluation
  • Optional: Recent Social Assessment
  • Optional: Recent Vocational Assessment or Evaluation
  • Optional: Recent Achievement Test Results 

*6. Recommendation Letters: Choose two professional references to complete our online Recommendation Letter Form. One must be from a teacher or job supervisor and another from a person who knows the applicant well and has known the applicant for at least 1 year. A letter should not come from a regional center service coordinator. Letters from a family member will not be accepted. Individuals providing references should include the following information in their letter of recommendation:

  • Occupation
  • Length of time they have known the applicant
  • The context they first become acquainted with the applicant
  • The applicant’s most exemplary traits and reasons why they feel the applicant is a good candidate for Wayfinders
  • Areas that could use improvement and concerns they have about the applicant (e.g. behavioral issues)

*7. Application Fee: The fee must paid by check or money order made out to Wayfinders. The application fee is $50 when all of the above materials have been received prior to November 1st. The application fee increases to $100 if any of the above application materials are received after November 1st. Your application will NOT be reviewed by our admissions committee until Wayfinders receives your complete application, complete regional center referral, two reference letters, and your application fee. All materials are due no later than November 30. Mail your application fee to: Wayfinders; 2743 E. Shaw Ave Suite 101; Fresno, CA 93710

8. Interview: The Wayfinders Admissions Committee will select the most suitable candidates to be interviewed based on the application materials. Not all applicants may be chosen for an interview. The candidate and parent(s)/guardian(s) must be present and will be interviewed separately. The interview process will ascertain the following:

  • The candidate has the desire, ability and motivation to complete every aspect of the program in the expected time period.
  • The program staff and/or community resources can appropriately serve the applicant’s individual needs.
  • The program provides the least restrictive environment for the candidate.
  • The candidate is prepared to enter the program.
  • The candidate meets all entrance requirements.
  • The parents/guardians are ready and willing to allow their child to make their own decisions with the support and guidance of Wayfinders staff.

9. Results Notification: The applicant will receive an email from Wayfinders ( by the end of February indicating one of the following:

  • The applicant has been offered admission to Wayfinders and must accept or decline the offer no later than March 15. 
  • The applicant has been placed on our waiting list.
  • The applicant was not selected.

Current Participants

Connect With Us

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Address: 2743 E Shaw Avenue, Suite 101; Fresno, CA 93710 

Phone: 559.278.0390

Fax: 559.278.0199



Shail's headshotShail Lopez-Ortiz

Executive Director


Shail has 18 years of experience as a rehabilitation counselor. Her background as a business owner for 10 years has enabled her to gain unique insight leading effective teams and organizations. She is passionate about pushing her team to think outside the box and embrace unique strategies when working with students with ID/DD. 

"The only limit to your impact is your imagination and commitment." Tony Robbins


Alma's headshotAlma Her

Residential Coordinator


Alma's team teaches Wayfinders students how to perform and master tasks as they relate to time management, hygiene, chores, meal preparation, grocery shopping, cooking, personal finance, and self-advocacy. She conducts weekly 1-on-1 personal finance workshops to help students practice financial concepts they may be struggling with. 

Macy's headshotMacy Pereira

Vocational Coordinator


Our Vocational Coordinator teaches our students appropriate work skills and attitude in Career Development Class and places them in work internships both on the Fresno State campus and out in the community. 

Brandon's headshotBrandon Gonzalez

University Inclusion Coordinator


Brandon works with our students to develop academic goals and to foster inclusion opportunities on campus by assisting with enrollment and participation with Fresno State courses. He leads workshops to help participants develop academic skills they need to be successful students. He also assists students in accessing accommodations to support them in the classroom and work setting. 













Community Inclusion Coordinator


Our CI coordinator teaches our Social Interaction Workshops which covers topics such as quality of friends, electronic communication, appropriate use of humor, handling bullying, dating, and more. In addition to this workshop, they make sure that the students have an active social life, are involved in the community and campus, and have healthy fitness routines. They also oversee our Peer Mentor program. 


Ryan's headshotRyan Wilson

Transition Coordinator and Interim Community Inclusion Coordinator


Ryan supports students in developing transition plans that will enable the students to have productive and fulfilling lives in the setting of their choosing. He also supports and encourages students to participate in and plan a range of activities that will provide them with skills to independently develop a rewarding social life after Wayfinders. He enjoys witnessing each student's journey toward independence and tracking the success of students who have finished the program.


Gabriel's headshotGabriel Diaz

Case Manager


Gabriel supports Wayfinders students by helping promote independence and self-efficacy. He collaborates with staff, parents, regional center service coordinators, and individual students to implement action plans to address and support student goals. Gabriel finds building a strong rapport with students, witnessing daily growth, and working with an innovative team are the most rewarding aspects of his work.

Mariah's headshotMariah Ramos

Case Manager


Mariah supports Wayfinders students by helping promote independence and self-efficacy. She collaborates with staff, parents, regional center service coordinators, and individual students to implement action plans to address and support student goals.

Mackenzie's headshotMackenzie Burke

Administrative Coordinator


Mackenzie ensures the efficient day-to-day operation of the Wayfinders office. She provides support to staff, manages the program calendar and events, oversees correspondence, assists with the financial management of the program, and oversees the admissions process. Mackenzie has a deep appreciation for working with a team of passionate and driven individuals who provide quality support to Wayfinders students.

Get Involved 

Funds donated to the Wayfinders program are used for student scholarships, emergency funds, and programmatic needs.

To support Wayfinders, please contact:

Heather McDowell
Kremen School of Education and Human Development

Or, make a gift today by visiting Select "Other" as your gift designation and type "Wayfinders".

There are exciting opportunities for students at Fresno State to get involved in this program. We are currently accepting applications for Peer Mentors. Peer Mentors is a program where Fresno State students would work with the students in the Wayfinders program.

Peer Mentors are volunteers who can help improve Wayfinders student outcomes related to:

  • Motivation and self-esteem
  • Friendship
  • Communication and assertiveness
  • Problem-solving and decision making
  • Conflict resolution
  • Coping and Adjusting
  • Resiliency

If you are interested in obtaining internship or practicum hours through Wayfinders, please complete our Intern/Practicum Student Application and Agreement. 

Why work for Wayfinders?

  • continuous training and professional developement
  • employee recognition and team building
  • competitive pay

If you are interested in joining the Wayfinders team, please visit the Auxiliary Human Resources website to search for any current open positions. We are currently looking to fill the following part-time positions:

Living Skills Coach

Completed applications for positions at Wayfinders should be emailed to


Information for Regional Centers 

Wayfinders is vendored through Central Valley Regional Center with courtesy vendorization set up with the rest of the regional centers.

  • Wayfinders is a two-year, independent living training program at Fresno State.
  • Participants must live at the Palazzo Apartments near campus.
  • Programming runs from August 1 - June 30.
  • The program closes in July. Participants return home with their families for the month. No Wayfinders services are available during this time.
  • To qualify for regional center funding, the participant must be served by a regional center and living in California. Funding comes from the regional center of origin.
    Wayfinders is vendored with two service codes.
    1. ILP (Independent Living Program: Service Code 520, Vendor # HC0899) ILP units (hours) are provided at a 1:3 ratio and range from 5.0 hours to 12.2 hours per day, 5 days per week, including holidays. Hours are based on participant needs and assessment. 
    2. CASS(Community Activity Support Services: Service Code 063, Vendor # HC0910) CASS is provided on the evenings and weekends and is billed as one flat monthly unit.
  • Purchase of Service Authorizations for each service code is required for individuals accepted into the program.
  • All participants entering the Wayfinders program must participate in Dog Days. Dog Days is one-day, new student orientation held in June. A 10-hour assessment for campus inclusion, funded by the regional center of origin, will occur during this time.
  • Participants are unsupervised from 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Service is not provided during this time and 24/7 supervision is not available to participants in this program. There is a Wayfinders on-call staff person during this time for emergencies.
  • Applicants served by a regional center must have their service coordinator complete a referral.