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Lifesharing

“Having a place to go is HOME... Having someone to LOVE is FAMILY... Having BOTH is LIFESHARING.”

Lifesharing encourages people to share their lives
Lifesharing Thru Family Living encourages people to open their hearts and homes to adults with disabilities · Photo courtesy of the Altoona Mirror

Lifesharing Thru Family Living is a residential option that encourages people to share their life experience with supportive people who care about each other. Lifesharing offers people with disabilities the opportunity to:

  • Live where they want
  • Live with whom they choose
  • Live the lifestyle they want

This program matches single people and families who are interested in opening their hearts and homes to adults with developmental disabilities. Choices can include:

  • Individuals living with a single person or family in the community
  • Roommate-type living situations
  • Person or family moving into the home of the individual with a disability

Watch the Lifesharing in PA Video

(courtesy of the PA Office of Developmental Programs, 2013)

Lifesharing encourages people to share their lives
Lifesharing offers opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to live as part of an extended family.

Focus on the Person

Lifesharing families open their hearts and homes to people with developmental disabilities to provide security, support, guidance, and love. These long-term, stable relationships enrich the quality of life for people with disabilities as they become active, participating members of the household and within the communities where they live.

Lifesharing Thru Family Living’s goal is participation, not just a presence, in everyday community life.

Lifesharing offers opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to live as part of an extended family. An important responsibility for Lifesharing families is to create a sense of “home” for individuals with disabilities. The success of Skills Lifesharing Program is based on teamwork and collaboration with individuals, their birth families, and their Lifesharing families.

Lifesharing meets the physical, medical, emotional, and social needs of the individuals being served through:

  • Individualized, flexible programming
  • Stable, long-term relationships
  • Integration into the community
  • Increased access to social events
  • Support to reach his or her goals and dreams

The Lifesharing Thru Family Living Program:

  • Focuses on the whole person instead of just the person’s basic needs.
  • Offers individuals the opportunity to make new friends and become involved in community activities with their Lifesharing family.
  • Provides individuals the chance to be a neighbor, a friend, a church member, a club member, and more.

Lifesharing offers individuals the opportunity to make new friends and become involved in community activities with their Lifesharing family.

Matching

Lifesharing Thru Family Living emphasizes the importance of matching individuals with potential Lifesharing families — harmonizing of values, interests, and mutual commitments. Lifesharing is a process in which the key is to find a family or person to share their lives. All people involved take the time needed to get to know each other, including visits and spending time together to develop a relationship before they move. The process is individualized and based on the commitment of everyone involved.

Skills Lifesharing Specialists provide ongoing consultation and support for the entire family including the individual, birth family and Lifesharing family members.

Since 1987, Skills has been serving individuals with developmental disabilities through the Lifesharing Thru Family Living program. As of 2009, 45 individuals take part in this program.

About Lifesharing Families

Lifesharing families are of all ages, genders, races, nationalities, and religions. They range from single people, single parents, empty nesters, two-parent families with children, and people with alternative lifestyles.

Lifesharing families are carefully screened. The screening process involves a comprehensive home study including interviews, personal and professional references, home inspections, physicals, and background checks. Before making the commitment to Lifesharing, families must also complete a 24-hour training program.

* * * * *

Skills is looking for families and single persons to provide homes for adults with developmental disabilities. Support services, training, and a monthly stipend are provided to Lifesharing families.

For more information about the Lifesharing Thru Family Living Program, contact the Skills office nearest you or fill out the form below:

Counties Street Address Phone
Adams, Cumberland, Perry and York 600 Linden Avenue
Hanover
717-630-2455
Blair and Bedford 805 Chestnut Avenue
Altoona
814-949-4800
Cambria, Clearfield, Jefferson and Somerset 957 Rowena Drive
Ebensburg
814-472-1031
Centre, Clinton and Lycoming 2437 East College Avenue
State College
814-272-0341
Huntingdon, Mifflin and Juniata 31 Industrial Park Road
Lewistown
717-242-1486
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