We believe that everyone, regardless of ability, can live in the community. This means designing programs to meet individual needs, not fitting people into pre-existing programs.
For some people, a staffed home provides a structured living arrangement that meets their needs. For others, especially those who prefer a less structured environment or are working toward more independence, shared living is a perfect option.
Spectrum's shared living service matches individuals with full time caregivers. They share a home, living together as roommates or a family would. Caregivers come in all shapes and sizes. They are singles, couples or families. As with all our work, we welcome diversity.
Focus on finding the right match: Individuals in shared living are as different from one another as anyone else in our communities. They have unique strengths, interests and lifestyles. Shared living presents an opportunity for individuals to build relationships with caregivers whose lifestyle complements their own. We take great care in finding the right match, based first and foremost on the person's strengths, interests and abilities, not their disability. For someone who loves the outdoors, finding caregivers who have an active lifestyle would be a priority. Someone with a passion for music might gravitate towards other musicians, and thrive in an environment filled with music. Spectrum attracts applicants from all walks of life, with varied skills and experiences, who wish to share their life and interests with someone with a disability. We provide a thorough orientation and ongoing training to ensure that caregivers are fully equipped to provide effective support consistent with the individual's overall support plan. However, the most successful shared living arrangements are grounded in relationships built on common interests, values and lifestyles. The "how to's" of supporting the person's disability-related needs are relatively easy to address once that foundation is established.
Caregivers undergo an intensive screening process, that includes a criminal record search, medical clearance, reference checks, interview by the person with a disability and his or her family, and detailed home study with questions about lifestyle, personal supports, values and family dynamics.