For 35 years, EP!C has been a leader in providing natural living options for people with disabilities through our Host Homes program. We have given the gift of independence to the people we serve by finding a home designed to encourage independence in a home setting and offering unique person-centered opportunities for people with disabilities.
In a Host Home, we match an individual with a contracted provider in the community of their choice. Providers are people that are passionate about making a difference- they are single people, married couples, people of all ages. A provider can support no more than two individuals. Each individual has their own bedroom and space in the home. The provider serves as a 24/7 point of support for that person- to help provide as much, or as little, assistance as the person wants and needs. This personalized, one-on-one support gives the individual the opportunity to develop, learn new skills and to become integrated with a home and community life.
Some of the people we support have a goal of wanting to move out on their own. Living in a Host Home for a period presents them with the opportunity to develop skills that they will need to accomplish their goal of having their own place. A Provider can help teach the person important lessons they will need to know- ranging from how to do laundry, how to cook, how to clean, how to set an alarm to wake up for work, how to take their medications independently, and any other details that would help them successfully live on their own.
Other individuals move into a Host Home and have a long, enriching life with their Provider. One of the individuals we serve has lived with his provider for over 27 years. They have become best friends and enjoy traveling together – they visit Tennessee often.
We have a variety of Host Homes options for the people we support. We have bedrooms on the main floor, some on the second floor, and some where individuals have an “apartment style” room, featuring a whole level just for themselves. We are seeing a variety of home settings, and are excited to continue adding new layouts to present to those interested in living in a Host Home.
Living in a Host Home not only gives the people we serve the opportunity to have their own space, it also presents them with the opportunity to choose- to choose how they spend their free time. If they want to go into the community and go see a movie or eat at their favorite restaurant, they have the means to do so. They have the support they need, yet the freedom that will allow them to develop and flourish in their daily lives.
On a regular basis, you will find the people we support out and about, contributing to the local community. Over 70 people work in community jobs, and many others are dedicated to volunteering with local organizations, playing sports, attending church groups, going to the movies, shopping, and eating at their favorite restaurants- the very same activities that you and I enjoy.
Our team plans regular vacations, social events, and other community involvements for the individuals that live in a Host Home. This year we were scheduled to watch a Cubs/Cards game from a private box Suite at Busch Stadium with an all you can eat and drink buffet. We planned a vacation to Grand Bear Lodge, Medieval Times in Schaumburg, and tailgating at an Illini Football Game, just to name a few. Unfortunately, due to the circumstances of this year, we were only able to venture to the Isle of Capri in Bettendorf, IA for our Casino Trip, which happens to be one of the favorite trips; however, we do look forward to rescheduling many of these trips for 2021.
On the vacations, participants get to enjoy a much-needed break while hanging out and seeing the sights with their friends. Our goal of the vacations is to promote independence, respect, and cooperation among peers. Our vacations also give the individuals a chance to learn skills that are transferrable to other areas of life that will further enrich their daily lives. The vacationer will have to determine the cost of the trip, then will have to look at their personal income. The person will learn saving, budgeting, prioritizing, and the importance of working to earn an income.
The Host Homes team plans weekly Power Teams, where the people that live in a Host Home meet to do a fun activity. In the past, we have had Bingo night, visited local orchards, gone to the movies, and attended college basketball games. We are always looking for new, fun things to do in the community to become more involved- so, if you, your business or a local organization have any ideas or would like to establish a partnership, please reach out- we’d love to talk with you!
We are continually adding new Host Homes, and look forward to growing the program in Springfield. If you have dreamed of making a difference in the life of an adult with a disability from within your home, then Host Homes could be for you! The more homes we have, the more lives we can impact, and the more choices we can present to those interested in living in a Host Home.
For more information about becoming a Host Home Provider or being placed in the Host Homes program, please contact Hilary Charlet, Community Options Recruiter at firstname.lastname@example.org or (309) 854-2019. To learn more about EP!C, visit our website here.