Community Living

 

Home is where the heart is, and every home is as unique as the people who live there.

Personalities, lifestyle preferences, and other intangibles are taken into consideration when arranging for a person to move into a Penn-Mar home.

Many of the people we support have lived with their Penn-Mar family for over 20 years. It’s not unusual for housemates to plan and take trips together both locally and cross-country or internationally. Properly supported in a Penn-Mar home, adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities can experience all that life offers, from community integration and inclusion, to friendships and relationships.

Important life skills such as budgeting, organization, collaboration, meal planning, and healthy habits are a part of living in a Penn-Mar home. For more information on Penn-Mar operated residences, please see the state-specific details below.

 

Life Sharing (PA) & Shared Living (MD)


Life Sharing
is a Pennsylvania-based support that provides people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) with an alternative to traditional community homes. Just like its name implies, Life Sharing allows people with IDD to live with a family or individual.

Families and individuals interested in being a Life Sharing provider engage in a formal qualification process which includes over 24 hours of training. People with IDD seeking a Life Sharing placement participate in an extensive matching process with qualified providers, which includes numerous visits prior to long-term placement. Life Sharing providers open their homes and ensure that all the person’s needs are met.

 



Read about Rachel, who participates in Life Sharing with the Barnes family. 

 

Shared Living is a strikingly similar program in Maryland. The term ‘Shared Living’ describes an arrangement in which an individual, a couple, or a family in the community share life’s experiences with a person with an intellectual or developmental disability. The person or people who open their home and provide support to the person with a disability is typically referred to as the ‘Shared Living provider.’

Shared Living emphasizes the long-term sharing of lives, forming of caring households, and close personal relationships between the person with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD) and the Shared Living provider. The person receiving supports should have the opportunity to decide with whom they will live, and the nature of the relationship (e.g., whether it is a roommate, a couple, or a family setting).


In-Home Supports (PA) & Personal Supports (MD)


In-Home Supports
are a Pennsylvania program that assists individuals and families in securing the necessary supports to live the life they desire within the community. These supports may include the person living at home with their family or living in a home of their own.

Our team partners with the individual and their family to help meet current needs at home, as well as teach the skills necessary to achieve the highest level of independence within the community. Our Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) are there to act as teacher of skills, an advocate, and a resource. DSPs are trained on the specifics of each person, as well as the philosophies and quality standards expected of Penn-Mar employees.


Personal Supports
(formerly Community Supported Living Arrangement, or CSLA) is a Maryland-based program providing in-home supports to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Personal Supports assist people who live in their own or in family homes with acquiring and building the skills necessary to maximize their personal independence. These services include: in-home skills development; community integration; social and life skills; and personal care assistance.

In additional to traditional Personal Supports, Personal Supports Enhanced is available when a person has a higher-level support need related to health and communication. In both cases, eligibility is determined by the Developmental Disabilities Administration based on set criteria.


Supported Living (MD Only)


Supported Living
services are a residential option for people living in a setting that is not owned or leased by a provider (e.g. a Penn-Mar operated home).

This program provides individualized supports, delivered in a personalized manner, to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They live in homes of their choice, with people of their choice, and in the location of their choice. Supported Living services may be provided in the person’s own house or apartment, or a home owned or leased by a parent or guardian.