SHARED LIVING – A program of Integration & Community Living (ICL)2021-01-12T15:15:20+00:00

Open Your Heart and Your Home to an Adult with Developmental Disabilities

Shared living is an alternative to a 24-hour group home for adults receiving services through the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS). Shared Living providers welcome an individual into their stable and caring home environment while providing an appropriate level of care and receiving an income to do so. Providers include single parents, retirees, widows/widowers – anyone with room in their heart and their home to share all that life has to offer. 

In many cases, the individual supported through Shared Living becomes a permanent addition to a forever family. In other cases, where the individual has a goal to live independently, the provider may serve as a roommate and role model who helps the individual learn to achieve goals necessary for independent living. 

 Are you loving and compassionate? Are you patient and kind?

Do you have personal or work experience with developmental disabilities or mental health? If you answered yes, you could be a life mentor and teacher for an adult who needs a family and a forever home. You could be a Shared Living provider. 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Shared Living providers supervise and support the physical and emotional wellness of the person supported, as well as their activities of daily living. They must provide the individual with a clean and safe home, healthy meals and clean laundry. Providers assist with medication administration as well as schedule and attend health care appointments. They may also support other personal goals identified in an individual service plan (ISP), such as employment, budgeting, meal prepping and community integration. Reliable transportation is required. Shared Living providers are part of the team that helps ensure the overall care and wellbeing for the person supported. It’s important that providers are willing to work with team members such as the Shared Living Program Supervisor, nurse, clinical services provider and community outreach provider. All-hours access to MHA support is assured. 

Strong communication skills are important and providers must take part in training on topics such as fire drill, human rights, CPR and home safety. During monthly visits, MHA’s Shared Living Program Supervisor offers support and guidance to the individual and the provider. Individuals also receive personal support from an MHA nurse. 

Providers receive a stipend averaging $31,369 per year. Actual compensation varies somewhat, according to the individual needs of the person supported. Providers are paid monthly by MHA but are not employees of MHA. Compensation is nontaxable and includes paid vacation/respite time averaging two weeks annually. 

Your home must be clean, safe, in good repair and spacious enough to add another family member. It can be a single family, multi-family, condo or apartment home. You can own it or rent. A dedicated private space, typically a bedroom, is required for the person supported. Your home does not need to be handicapped accessible, although that could be a bonus. 

 If you can actively embrace a person with developmental disabilities as part of your own family, that’s a good start. You must become that person’s friend, teacher and advocate. A good match is critical, and helping to make that match is among the many services provided by MHA. 

Perhaps you’re a mother who needs to earn a living but also needs to be at home. Maybe you’re an empty nester who longs for family life or a retiree who misses your role caring for others. Perhaps COVID has taken your job. Shared Living enables you to earn an income as you make a difference. 

Being a Shared Living provider takes a long-term commitment and is not for everyone. But if you’re that special kind of person, it comes with rewards you can’t find anywhere else. Currently, MHA is actively looking for Shared Living providers in Hampden County. If you’d like to learn more, please contact Carmen Rivera, MHA’s Shared Living Program Supervisor, at 413-233-5324 or crivera@mhainc.org 

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Currently, MHA is actively looking for Shared Living providers in Hampden County. Being a Shared Living provider takes a long-term commitment and is not for everyone. But if you’re that special kind of person, it comes with rewards you can’t find anywhere else.

If you’d like to learn more, please contact Carmen Rivera, MHA’s Shared Living Program Supervisor, at 413-233-5324 or crivera@mhainc.org

Se habla Español

Email Carmen Rivera

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