In Massachusetts there is a program called Shared Living, which is a good way to create an independent living set-up for your loved one with a fairly significant developmental disability. Shared Living is more of a community model, a more Self-Determined, Person-Centered model, whereas Group Homes can feel a little more isolated, perhaps more institutional, and are much more costly to sustain. Shared Living is basically a caregiver living with the person with the disability, together, in the caregiver’s apartment. The caregiver gets a stipend from which he pays rent and the disabled person contributes to the rent from his SSI check. The stipend can be adjusted using funding that the disabled person receives from the state Medicaid Waiver agency he is served by (DDS, Mass Rehab, etc.). Sometimes people combine Section 8 low-income housing with the Shared Living model to help get an affordable apartment.
I am attaching a description of Shared Living and of the Roles and Responsibilities of the Provider (Caregiver) that I got from Advocates, Incorporated of Framingham, Massachusetts. Advocates is one of many service providers, and I particularly love them.
If you are not in Massachusetts, call your Department of Developmental Services or other state agency, or a service provider you know of, and ask about your state’s equivalent to Shared Living. Another Shared Living alternative is also Adult Foster Care, or Adult Family Care, which in Massachusetts is administered through Medicaid. Again, ask your state agencies about what Medicaid might offer, and what your loved one may qualify for. AFC is similar to Shared Living.