What is LifeShare?
Through LifeShare, Ontario families and citizens (home providers) can offer a safe and nurturing environment for adults with developmental disabilities (home sharers).
LifeShare (also known as host family) is so much more than providing a room in your home. Being a home provider means you’re giving someone with a developmental disability “a place in your heart, a place in your home.”
People with developmental disabilities are active participants in their communities. They can be athletes, artists, employees, advocates, community volunteers, neighbours and friends. They’re an important part of the community and contribute to the strength of our province.
LifeShare helps adults with developmental disabilities, who are 18 and older, live as independently as possible in their communities.
The History and Mission of LifeShare
The FamilyHome program, LifeShare, started in 1984, as part of the Ministry of Community and Social Service’s commitment to provide a range of services for adults 18 and older with developmental disabilities. Over time, the name of the program changed but the overall goals of LifeShare have remained constant:
- Provide adults with developmental disabilities a home-like setting with a sense of family, safety, continuity and security
- Promote a high quality of life
- Support community involvement, social inclusion, individual choice, independence, and rights and responsibilities
Who is involved? (home providers/sharers)
- There are currently more than 70,000 adults in Ontario with developmental disabilities
- As of 2016, approximately 18,000 people with developmental disabilities receive government-funded residential supports:
~ 57% are part of traditional Supported Group Living Residences or Intensive Support Residences
~ 34% are part of Supported Independent Living programs or specialized accommodation
~ 9% participate in LifeShare (also known as host family) For LifeShare Frequently Asked Questions http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/developmental/serviceSupport/lifeShareFAQ.aspx
Want to become a LifeShare Home Provider?
LifeShare programs across Ontario are actively seeking new home providers for both short term and full-time supports.
Each home provider receives a per diem amount—similar to that provided in the foster care system. All potential home providers are screened to ensure the role is a good fit for them.
Our program coordinators provide 24/7 on-call support for home providers as well as monthly home visits. People supported in this model enjoy belonging to their community with their host family. Home providers find the role highly meaningful and rewarding, and it makes all the difference to those we support to have a safe place to live where they are valued and accepted.
All are welcome to apply for this wonderful opportunity to become a home provider. We also encourage employees of Christian Horizons to apply.
|Hamilton/Niagara Host Family Services
||Peel Host Family Services
||Wellington/Waterloo Host Family Services
|225 King William Street Suite 202, Mailbox 5
||2283 Argentia Rd., Suite 14
||15 Lewis Rd.
|905-527-6762 ext. 253
Real Story: Lucas, Barbara, Alayne and Nathan
Lucas is a 21-year-old with Down syndrome and a heart condition, who lives with Barbara, her daughter Alayna and her son Nathan. Before arriving at Barbara’s house, Lucas lived with his natural family and continues to see them regularly.
Since moving in with Barbara and her family, Lucas’ natural enthusiasm for life and love of people has flourished. Lucas and Nathan have formed a brotherly bond and like to deepen their connection at the local coffee shop.
“I hardly remember what it’s like for him not to live here.” – Alayna
Lucas recently graduated from high school and proudly received the Citizenship Award for community service. Now that he’s graduated, he’s focusing on getting a part-time job, assists with coaching a local track and field team and hanging out with friends.
“Lucas has become an important part of our family. This has been such a worthwhile experience and had such a positive effect on us all!” – Barbara