Welcoming homes is sharing that pays

North Islanders are being invited to help make their communities stronger — and earn a little extra doing so.

North Islanders are being invited to help make their communities stronger — and earn a little extra doing so.

Welcoming Homes is looking for more locals to get involved with its Home Sharing program, an arrangement in which an adult with a developmental disability shares a home with someone who has a contract to provide support to the adult.

There are currently 33 adults receiving services on the North Island, 13 in residential care and eight in the home sharing program. But there are nine more in need of immediate respite or full time home sharing, and in most cases the need is urgent.

Jane Plant of the Welcoming Homes Support Services which administers the program argues that filling that need locally benefits all involved — and the wider community.

Plant points out that the value of services on the North Island is worth more than $900,000 to local communities, a figure that could rise if all adults who require home sharing could be accommodated. If suitable arrangement cannot be found, the individuals may be forced to go elsewhere, taking the jobs and their own spending power with them.

For the adults seeking a home share the program offers a chance at independence in a safe and secure home close to family and friends. Besides payment, providers benefit by making a difference in the adult’s life, often forming lifetime bonds.

Support can be given full time or part time, offering respite cover. The level of support required varies on a case-by-case basis, and the home is visited by a worker prior to any contract to ensure a good match between the home sharer and the individual. The parties involved also have an opportunity to get to know each other before any arrangement is made.

The adults in the program have a developmental disability or have been diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder or Autism Spectrum Disorder. In many cases no special training is required, but some experience of living with or supporting vulnerable people is important. Typically, the provider is paid between $1,500- $2,500 per month per adult, dependant on the needs of the individual.

More information on the program can be found at www.communitylivingbc.ca or by contacting Plant at welcominghomes@shaw.ca or 250-871-7136.