Shared Living Program

Shared Living Program

It’s a new year and we’re excited to kick it off with new programming! At Richcroft, we recently piloted a new support known as Shared Living. We are excited to offer this unique program that emphasizes the long-term sharing of lives, forming of caring households, and close personal relationships between supported individuals and their support person(s). The way it works is very simple: an individual, couple, or family in the community share life’s experiences with a person with a disability. A shared living arrangement may take place in either the shared living provider’s home/apartment or in the participant’s home/apartment or in a shared home with a roommate.

Our Shared Living Program allows for a steady, around-the-clock approach that fosters a deeper connection than that of traditional staff/client relationships. As its primary intention, the Shared Living model supports the building of life-long relationships – based on the concepts of person-centered planning and self-determination. It also gives our participants a strong foundation from which to pursue community work and skills training to advance their own goals.

A common question we often get asked about the Shared Living Program is about funding. Individuals, couples, or families providing this support receive a monthly stipend in line with the 24/7 expectations of supports provided. Shared Living is a provider-managed, DDA-funded program under the Community Pathways Waiver.

For some of the individuals we support, like Ashley – age 28 – and her shared living provider Nikki, the Shared Living Program was just a natural fit.  Nikki and Ashley already had a relationship established through Ashley’s family, so when Ashley inquired about Richcroft’s services and the possibility of having Nikki serve as her personal support counselor, this new program seemed like a potential match. Since they already had a good working relationship and Nikki’s family and home were open to the possibility, Nikki and Ashley turned out to be the perfect pair to pilot the Shared Living Program at Richcroft. Nikki’s family is able to benefit from a consistent stipend to cover utilities and expenses, and Ashley benefits from being part of a caring household and the individualized support and encouragement.

And just like a family, they make plans and budget for those plans! Recently, Ashley and Nikki (along with Nikki’s son) took a vacation to Orlando, Florida, where they visited Walt Disney World and Sea World. The trip was funded purely from their respective budgeting and savings, and it was a fantastic trip for the whole family.

At Richcroft, we’re big believers in turning goals into opportunities. For Ashley, her dream was to go to Disney. It gave her a sense of accomplishment and the reward was a tangible one — just look at the smile on her face!

Seeing the positive impact our Shared Living Program has already made in its pilot phase has encouraged us to keep the momentum going. Other individuals and families we serve have begun exploring this model of service as well and if this sounds like it would be a good fit for you, we encourage you to reach out! Please contact us at 410-785-3274 about the Shared Living Program today.