In 1983, while teaching special education in Paso Robles, CA, Mike Mamot saw the need for additional residential services for children. With the help of a student loan, he created the second group home in San Luis Obispo County in 1984. From that humble start grew a nonprofit organization that became to be known as OPTIONS Family of Services.
Mike’s vision was for a continuum of services to meet the needs of the persons served by OPTIONS. Through the years, services were greatly expanded as new innovative methods to help persons with disabilities were designed and developed. The organization gained a reputation for providing services to behaviorally challenged adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities and persons who had a traumatic brain injury. Services were provided in a professional manner. This is most exemplified by the fact that OPTIONS became CARF accredited for the first time in 1990. Between 1997 to 2011, OPTIONS only had two recommendations from their accreditation reviews.
The way services were delivered was important to Mike. He stressed taking an ethical approach when caring for persons served. All staff received on-going training on what it means to provide unselfish ethical services respecting the rights of all persons and treating them with dignity. It was his belief that all staff members, including himself, should be held accountable for being trustworthy and compassionate for persons served.
OPTIONS was able to grow due to creative financing and by being awarded various grants. Founded on a small student loan, Mike facilitated the sale of tax exempt bonds in order to reduce interest expense. During his tenure, OPTIONS was granted over a million dollars.
In 1990, the same year OPTIONS became accredited, Mike became a CARF surveyor. He has stated on more than one occasion that the worse CARF survey he had conducted was better than the best conference he ever attended because of the information he was able to bring back to the organization he founded. Many of the concepts and procedures that became the foundation of the services provided by OPTIONS is a direct result of what Mike saw in the field while conducting accreditation surveys.
In 2013, Mike retired as the Founder/CEO of OPTIONS. He remains active in the field by consulting and acting as an expert witness for legal cases. He has conduct over 200 CARF surveys and has trained more than 50 new CARF surveyors.