Back in the 1960’s and 70’s, when the institutions were closed; people began looking into ways for those with developmental disabilities to become part of their community rather than return to institution-like settings.  Thus, The Shared Living Program was created.  The Shared Living Program helps people with developmental disabilities be part of their community by placing individuals in loving homes with those who can offer care, kindness, and support.

You can make a difference in someone’s life by opening your home to someone with a developmental disability. It’s an opportunity that benefits everyone! Here’s how it works:

Are you a stay at home mom or dad? Have you been a caregiver, nursing professional, or teacher? Have you been a coach or scout leader? Do you want to help others?  Do you have a mother-in-law apartment or spare bedroom you would like to put to good use?

UCS Shared Living is seeking individuals, couples and families who reside in Bennington County, or in nearby towns in New York and Massachusetts, to provide caring homes, or be a roommate, for individuals with developmental disabilities.  We have some individuals who have been in the same home for over 25 years!  Bringing someone with a disability into your home is extremely rewarding and fulfilling for both you and the individual you would support.  And, UCS will help you every step of the way.

UCS provides:

  • training
  • supervision
  • monthly room and board
  • tax-free income
  • respite hours for necessary breaks
  • a UCS team to guide and support you

For more information, call Kimberly Lachant at 802.445.7318, ext. 323  or email Kimberly at

Being a home provider is an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life!

Shared Living FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Who needs homes and why?
Individuals needing homes have developmental disabilities. They usually need help with activities of daily living, obtaining medical care and accessing the community. When family are no longer able to care for a person with disabilities, and living in a home environment benefits them  the most.  The great thing about Shared Living is that the individual can still live in a family setting while learning skills to increase their independence.

What do I need to know to be a Shared Living provider?
Experience as a caregiver is a plus and we meet many providers who have worked as nursing professionals, teachers, and foster care parents, but having worked professionally is not a requirement. Many Shared Living Providers have raised their own children and now have an extra room and the desire to help others.  People who are patient, flexible willing to share and willing to learn are needed most. Shared Living providers receive training and have available to them a team of others to help support the individual they care for.

Who else supports the individual?
All clients have a case manager who has regular contact with the Shared Living provider. In addition, an individual may have Community Supports, spending time in the community and if employed, an employment support person to help them with their job. All individuals have medical providers for their primary care, dental care and other needs. We also have a full time nurse who is available for medical consultation.  The majority of individuals in Shared Living also have a legal guardian who helps the person make important decisions.  All of these people will work together with you to provide the best quality of life for the individual.

Are Shared living providers paid?
Yes. Shared Living providers are paid a tax free payment on a monthly basis. In addition, monthly room and board is paid. Shared Living providers are contractors and not employees, so do not receive any benefits from UCS.   Respite hours are also budgeted  to allow for providers to have necessary breaks.  When you become a Shared Living Provider, you become the Employer of respite and can hire people who you know will give the individual quality care and understanding.  UCS works with ARIS Solutions to manage respite budgets and respite staff.