Host Home Providers Celebrate and Reflect on 10 Years of Being a Family
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota’s Host Homes connects providers, who offer support in a nurturing, family-style setting, with individuals with identified needs. For 29-year-old Rosa, Janet and Ron Nordby immediately felt like her perfect match and have been for the last 10 years.
Lutheran Social Service works with families who want to open their home to a person with identified needs, by offering support, training and administrative functions, so that they can really be a family and focus on providing the support needed by the person they're living with.
Janet and Ron Nordby both say you never get too old to raise a family. Janet, who has worked with people with disabilities for 26 years, said becoming a Host Home provider was an easy decision to make.
“All my kids were grown, and I decided that maybe I would look into doing it out of my own home,” said Janet. She also thinks the extra support that the LSS Host Home team provides them is very beneficial. “Any challenges that I've had, I feel like the Host Home program is very helpful. You don't feel like you're alone, no matter the situation.”
LSS Host Home families are all licensed foster care providers and may be an individual, a couple or a family with children. Unlike a traditional group home environment, the maximum number of people served through the Host Home model is two, allowing for a more flexible lifestyle for everyone. LSS team members provide training and support to both providers and people supported.
Rosa and the Nordbys celebrated their 10-year anniversary recently. Rosa, who refers to Janet and Ron as mom and dad, began this journey while she was still in high school. Now an adult, Rosa continues to gain independence and works part-time in the dining hall at a local university. When asked what she enjoys most about living with the Nordbys, Rosa said, “All the laughter.”
For Rosa, Janet and Ron, this seems to be just the beginning. While they still are learning and growing with each other, at the end of the day, Janet says they are just a like any other family. “We have no thoughts of retiring from being Host Home providers because it just feels normal, like a normal home life.”
LSS Host Homes, available in 27 counties across Minnesota, continues to grow and expand. To learn more about becoming a provider or living in a Host Home, go to lssmn.org/hosthomes.