Shared Living Homes

Program Description

Shared Living is an option in which Home Support Services are provided to an adult who cannot live alone and requires a considerable amount of help with the activities of daily living, such as eating, dressing, and personal hygiene, etc. Shared living provides an alternative to more restrictive residential options for those that meet clinical, financial and other program criteria. Shared Living is a consumer-directed service designed to maximize the control and choice a person has over the services that are provided.


For Clients: This service is available to adults with intellectual disabilities who are eligible through MaineCare Services and are unable to live independently. To be eligible for MaineCare Services, a person has to be determined financially eligible and must also meet certain clinical level of care criteria through the Department of Health & Human Services Intake Office.

Host Providers: The provider must enter into a contractual relationship with a Certified Shared Living Agency in order to provide Home Support Services in their home. A provider must complete a College of Direct Support Certification training, which is offered from the comfort of your own home or in a class room setting through our agency. You also must pass an 8 hour Medication Course, be 18 years old or older, have a high school diploma or equivalent and pass a home inspection.

How it works

Shared Living provides a home-like setting for individuals who cannot live alone but who want to continue to live in the community. There are three components to understanding Shared Living: (1) Administering Agency (2) Shared Living Provider and (3) DHHS or OACPDS-Case Management

1.) Administering Agency: The Shared Living agency will assist DHHS and the person who needs care; find an appropriate host home/caregiver. This may be someone the person already knows, like a relative, neighbor or friend. The Shared Living Agency will conduct quality assurance activities, billing services and support for the caregiver.

The Shared Living Agency will:

  • Oversee and monitor services
  • Provide the caregiver input to ensure the safety of the host home
  • Provide training for the caregiver
  • Provide oversight of Medication Administration Regulations from a certified RN
  • Develop an individualized Shared Living Service and Safety Plan
  • Provide billing services for the Shared Living Provider

2.) Shared Living Provider: The Host Provider must have a desire to welcome a new member who is in need of support, understanding and inclusion into the local community. They will be the major component of the individual’s support team. They will ensure an environment which is supportive of the client’s rights and personal development. They will provide opportunities for informed decision making, development and maintenance of relationships with family and friends, and meaningful participation within the household. They will fulfill the requirements and obligations negotiated and agreed upon among themselves, CLA and the person served.

Typically, the caregiver lives in their own home and agrees to have the person in need of care live with them.

In most situations the Shared Living Provider is responsible for:

  • Personal Care, including assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s)
  • Homemaker Services
  • Chore Services
  • Meals
  • Transportation
  • Being on call 24/7
  • Providing socialization and a home-like environment
  • Advocacy to client during meetings and appointments
  • Community inclusion
  • Assist client in follow through on Person Centered Plan objectives

Benefits for the Shared Living Provider include:

  • A stipend for providing 24/7 care
  • Respite or time off from full-time care
  • Flexibility
  • Work from home
  • You are your own boss
  • Billing consultations
  • Oversight visits to ensure quality

3.) Case Management/ISC DHHS: Case Management Services are services provided by a social service or other professional to identify the medical, social, educational and other needs of the client. They identify services necessary to meet those needs, and facilitate access to those services.

The Case Manager will:

  • Attend and facilitate person centered planning meetings to assist clients in developing a plan to meet their needs and wants.
  • Assist clients by providing on-going checks and quality assurance to ensure their plans are implemented by providers.
  • Assist clients and agencies in identifying and implementing the client’s personal vision of their life.
  • Assist clients in finding housing, employment, and day habilitation.
  • Assist clients in finding physicians, psychiatrists and other specialists.
  • Make referrals for evaluations (ex: OT, PT, Speech, psychological, etc.)
  • Provide advocacy services as needed to help clients get what they want or need and to protect their rights.
  • Provide Guardianship and Representative Payee services.
  • Monitor plan for quality assurance.

Other Considerations

  • Community Support Services – A person is eligible to attend community supports. If that is the case, the caregiver’s stipend will be reduced for days when a person attends Community Services. This gives the caregiver an opportunity for employment or pursuing other interests.
  • Matching a person to a caregiver – The agency and DHHS will look at the client’s preferences and match them to a caregiver by geographic locations, pets, children in the home, lifestyle preferences, schedules, etc.
  • Tax Considerations – The Shared Living Provider’s stipend may be federally exempt due to difficulty of care of the client when the client lives in the Shared Living Provider’s home.
  • MaineCare pays the Shared Living agency for its role and provides funding for caregiver stipends. However, MaineCare does not pay for room and board. Room and board is typically paid from the client’s SSI and/or Social Security check.
  • A Host Family can provide both a stable support system and a high quality of life to the person receiving services.
  • Inclusion into the community has been and continues to be a major focus of people with disabilities.

For more information contact:
Jennifer Patoine, Shared Living Coordinator
50 Green Street, Houlton, Maine 04730
207-532-9493 or