In the early 1970s, a small group of community leaders and residents joined together to develop a juvenile delinquency prevention program for Mira Mesa and other communities in the northern area of San Diego. Andy Patapow, a school principal; John Worthington, a minister; and Terry Tibbitts, a psychologist, all living in San Diego North City, formed Harmonium and went to the City and County to request money for youth services.

When our doors opened in 1975 with a budget of around $100,000, our focus was primarily at-risk and high-risk youth. Our goal was to prevent them from entering or re-entering the juvenile justice system.

Today, Harmonium has evolved into a modern, multi-dimensional human care organization with a broad range of counseling, juvenile delinquency prevention, childcare, enrichment, teen, community technology and arts programs. Our agency serves the San Diego region including the central and outlying areas of the County from Oceanside to San Ysidro, from Pacific Beach to Alpine and Jamul. Services are provided on many school campuses, at police stations, and at numerous neighborhood locations. Our annual budget for 2008/2009 is approximately $11.8 million and the agency has over 600 staff.

Our Future

It is by aligning our work with our values that we are best able to contribute to and support the communities we serve every day. It is through personalized programs and services, performed with integrity by our skilled staff and partners, leveraging technology and collaborative relationships, that we are able to create innovative ways to reach out and meet the ever-increasing needs of our children, youth, families and communities.

Our community’s needs are expanding, as is Harmonium growing to meet those needs. The digital divide is an issue that will continue to impact our communities, as are the political / social environments, availability of affordable housing, plight of the working poor, the aging population, enculturation of various ethnic populations, and suburban/rural outreach. Harmonium’s programming has addressed aspects within these greater issues for our communities, and will continue to do so.

Proud of our old-fashioned service and commitment to families, we are confident in our ability to blend personal, individualized services with the demands of a fast-paced, technologically oriented world and of its leadership in the human care profession and its stature in the communities it serves.

Harmonium is dedicated to improving the quality of life and strengthening the capacity of children, youth, and families to lead happy, successful, self-sufficient lives through “Services that promote well-being for all individuals and families throughout the San Diego Community.”

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