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LSS Celebrates 10 Years of Host Homes for People with Disabilities

Web posted October 19, 2021
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS) will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Host Homes, a service that empowers people with disabilities to lead independent lives in community while receiving support in a family home.

Host Homes matches people with disabilities with individuals or families who provide personalized support in their homes.

“When you share a home with someone, you really get to know what makes them who they are,” said Alissa Dott, senior director of LSS Host Homes and Care Coordination. “This helps our providers develop a deep understanding of how to best support the people we serve.”

Host Homes matches the individuals served with a provider through a highly-personalized process. Coordinators build relationships with potential providers to learn about their living preferences, time commitment, specialized skills and the kind of support they’re able to provide. This information helps Host Homes find the perfect match based on an individual’s likes and dislikes, interests, needs and goals.

Lutheran Social Service launched Host Homes in 2011 with one individual supported by a family in the Twin Cities Metro Area. The service has grown to support 90 individuals in 34 counties throughout Minnesota — although providers can live in any part of the state.

Host Homes also expanded in 2018 when it coordinated with LSS Behavioral Health services to offer Therapeutic Host Homes. This partnership helps ensure that children with disabilities who are in foster care receive nurturing, therapeutic support from foster families who are qualified to meet each child’s unique needs.

Demonstrating LSS’ commitment to providing person-centered options that improve the quality of life for people with disabilities, the organization has been accredited by The Council on Quality and Leadership since 2004. Since 2016, LSS has also been a recipient of CQL accreditation with distinction.

“The person-centered philosophies that CQL prioritizes are interwoven into every aspect of Host Homes,” Alissa said. “Those values are the foundation of how we make matches, pick families, train families, conduct meetings and support individuals every day.”

Host Homes welcomes providers from all parts of the state and all backgrounds. They can be renters or homeowners, families or single people, retirees or young professionals. The ideal candidate is open to sharing their life with a new person and feels passionately about supporting their goals and dreams. Members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community are highly encouraged to learn more about becoming a Host Home provider.

“Our providers open their hearts and homes to someone to make a difference in their lives, but the people who move in so often enhance providers’ lives far beyond expectations,” Dott said. “The joy and satisfaction they get supporting someone’s hopes and dreams are incredible.”

Anyone interested in starting the Host Homes licensing process can learn more by visiting lssmn.org/hosthomes or contacting hosthomes@lssmn.org.

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