Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota Supports 150th Person Through Host Homes Service

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS) recently celebrated offering support, personal choice and meaningful relationships to the 150th person supported by Host Homes, LSS’ life sharing service.

The first service of its kind in Minnesota, LSS Host Homes offers individuals the benefits of living in a family home with the support to lead an independent life in their community.

Host Home providers open their homes to people with disabilities or specified needs to offer personal support and attention in a family setting – and to share their lives. These families often offer guidance with things like time management, social skills, money management and home economics.

LSS Host Homes supported individuals in two communities when it launched in 2011. It has since grown to serve people in 26 Minnesota counties and is available to individuals anywhere in the state.

“We are thrilled to have reached this milestone thanks to people throughout Minnesota opening their homes and hearts to and sharing their lives with people with disabilities,” said Nancy Rosemore, Associate Vice President of LSS Disability Services. “Our Host Homes team is passionate about the work they do and have done an outstanding job. We are happy to be able to offer an option besides group homes to people with disabilities and their families.”

Unlike traditional group home settings, Host Home providers support a maximum of two individuals. This allows them to dedicate more of their time and attention to supporting the individuals living with them.

LSS works closely with each individual supported by Host Homes to build a customized plan for their day-to-day living with a family. Through this process, individuals with disabilities identify their likes, dislikes, goals and dreams to determine what kind of support they receive.

“We use person-centered planning tools to support individuals and the families who open their homes,” said Alissa Dott, Senior Director of Host Homes. “We look at what both a good day and a bad day looks like for the person supported, and how we can best support them through either situation.”

Individuals interested in life sharing with LSS Host Homes meet several families with openings and tour their homes to help them determine the best match for their needs, interests, values and goals. Goals may range from maintaining a job or getting a driver’s license to managing medication or building a healthy routine.

Regardless of an individual’s goals, Dott said the bond the household forms is the clearest sign of a successful match.

 “It’s that reciprocal relationship that really creates a successful match for both individuals and providers,” Dott said. “Both people have chosen this relationship and they are working together to reach a common goal.”