Shared Living

An alternative to residential housing, shared living matches individuals with intellectual disabilities to community members who have opened their hearts and homes.

An Innovative Housing Solution to Better Serve People

Shared living is similar to the adoption process. A person lives with a family or individual in their home, taking part in everyday activities, learning new skills, and building relationships.

We work closely with people and their families to arrange living situations that feel like home. Guided by their interests and needs, individuals are empowered to be part of the decision-making process.

Host families help with everything from meal preparation to medication management to transportation. Like typical families, they engage in social events and community activities. If additional direct care is required, arrangements will be made to support those needs.

Possible shared living arrangements include:

  • An individual living with the provider in their home
  • An individual and provider renting a space together
  • A provider moving into the individual’s rented or owned home

As shared living is a long-term relationship, we take great care in finding the right match.

Screening includes:

  • A telephone conversation with the potential provider to discuss their interest in the program, home life, and work life
  • In-person interviews at the potential provider’s home to review:
    • Home environment and neighborhood
    • Values, lifestyle, and family structure

Also required:

  • Application
  • Personal reference checks
  • Criminal background checks for everyone living at the home
  • Training for certification in first aid, CPR, human rights, fire safety, Positive Behavior Support (PBS), and health and wellness


Oversight is performed by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and its Office of Quality Enhancement (OQE). CHD performs monthly visits and files a report based on our client’s overall well-being, safety, training needs, social engagement, financial health, and benefits. The OQE also conducts a survey on a bi-annual basis.

Some required items include:

  • Annual physical and dental examinations (with documentation)
  • All prescriptions administered in accordance with a written order and documentation in a medication chart
  • Locks on bedroom doors, if desired
  • A safety plan

Respite coverage

Respite providers are screened, managed, trained, and paid by CHD. They can provide care in their own home or in the home of the provider. If they choose to provide relief in their home, they must also be certified as a shared living provider.

The shared living model allows clients receiving assistance through DDS to live with families who have the time and desire to share their lives in this special way.

Caregivers receive a tax-free stipend plus ongoing training and support. Most importantly, they make a real difference in someone’s life by welcoming them into their home and community.

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