“EP!C’s Host Homes Program has given me the chance to have a family again and also be a part of my community,” David, a participant in EP!C’s Host Home Program shares. “My provider is helping me become more independent and work on goals I want to achieve. Because of EP!C I have an awesome place to live and get to be a part of the Bulldogs Basketball team. They make me a better man and I cannot thank EP!C enough for everything.” To watch David's story, check out his video here.
Why is the Host Homes model so important to the future of Independent Living? It gives people, like David, the opportunity to choose- to decide in what town they want to live, how they want to spend their time, and develop skills and passions they may not have had the opportunity to work on in a different setting, such as a group home or a nursing home. It truly is an opportunity for them to live their best lives.
EP!C’s Host Homes Program assists people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in finding a home designed to encourage independence in a home setting and offers unique person-centered opportunities for people with disabilities.
The program dates back 35 years and matches people of all ages 18+ with a contracted provider in the community of their choice. Whether the person wants to move and experience a new city, or wants to find residence outside of the family unit in their current town, the person can decide. Because EP!C has Host Homes in 12 counties throughout Central and Southern Illinois, and is continually expanding and adding new communities to the list, individuals have a wider range of options to choose.
In a Host Home, an individual is matched with a provider that shares similar preferences and values. Multiple visits occur prior to move in to ensure it will be a mutually-beneficial match. A provider can support up to two individuals, and each person has their own bedroom. 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. Living in a Host Home gives the person the freedom and independence they desire, yet the support they need to really develop their skills and flourish at their fullest potential.
Some of the people supported in a Host Home 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 one day 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, or how to set an alarm to wake up for work.
Other individuals move into a Host Home and have a long, enriching life with their Provider. We have a few people that have lived with their providers for over 20 years.
When everyone has stability and the personalized support that they need, they begin to thrive. When they have access to instruction, to a job that provides a living wage, and to a person that has their best in mind, their lives become fuller, and as a result, their lives, and the community prospers. We love seeing the impact this program has in the lives of the people we support, and look forward to impacting more lives in the Springfield area.
If you have the heart and desire to open your heart and home to help someone live their best life, 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.