What’s a Supportive Roommate?

May 29, 2021

Grouping people with a developmental disability together creates an institutional living environment. I know you don’t want that for your loved one. But, this leaves you asking… what are the alternatives?! Well, why do we assume that people with disabilities have to live together? I ask you to consider what it would look like for your loved one to live with a neurotypical person. In this video, I share how you can create a more natural home environment for your loved one with a supportive roommate. Click the video below to learn more.

Leave a comment below! What connected with you in this video?

P.S.If you want to learn how families I’ve worked with have created an individualized home with their loved one CLICK HERE.

  • Unfortunately, social service agencies are not interested in offering alternatives to group homes for those who have neurological disabilities, hence why group homes are a dime a dozen while other supportive housing options are nearly nonexistent. One of the main strategies to get into these alternatives is to avoid using social services if possible. It’s sort of inevitable that such agencies would only offer group homes and or residential institutions because it’s cheapest and easiest for government agencies to have a one-size-fits-all approach to everything.

  • I’ve had quite the journey with private earners nothing really worked. My parents really can’t keep track of the funds contracts si had you hire a case manager which I was lucky. Ant other one would charge me tons to do the accounting and track the contract.

    Unfortunately we had a disagreement but that’s for another comment.

    We finally were able to get on smooth ground and still have the disagreement but it means I don’t get support for the one thing cus our support ideologies are different.

    The case manager is also helping me find a supportive roomate cuz the cost of living is too great. Its cheapest in a supportive roomate situation. But I have a lot if stuff and collections (that’s another comment).

    My previous experience with supportive roomate wasn’t good but one I saw recently seems to be okay.

    I just don’t know how much are food preferences will overlap thus saving me food costs. I’m not sure how she’ll deal with why I do certain things. 911 still comes up as an option for response.

    One advantage being alone is nobody fears or gets concerned but on the other hand nobody to be a medical advocate.

    Now she wants some sort of agreement: basically rental + support ??

    More uncertainty.
    Not sure how a “lower functioning” individual or somebody that is at that level in stress or uncertainty, could tolerate it.

    I noticed I got gray hairs now (40).
    I guess I’m finally joining the club.

  • Eric,
    You mention a Supportive roommate agreement document. Can you send me a generic example of a typical agreement document. Thanks.

  • Hi Eric, hope you are doing well and staying healthy. I liked your previous video on supportive roommate. As my daughter has been living on her own for now 4 years. She would enjoy having company (aside for the one part time support person) However, she is very picky about who she wants as a roommate. We have been talking with DAFRS re a roommate or a community person. So I liked your description of the supportive roommate idea.
    Re sharing the house with one or two others, I am not sure if I agree with your comment that even though it may be parent run an dnot agency run, it will become a “group home” and choice and control will be lost.
    This comment is for my son who lives in his own home. He did have house mates but as you said it did not work out but it was an experience to learn from. He is living alone and we have had a few support still helping him, but because of COVID and no housemates, he has been comming home overnight. I always explain to other families that the difference between an agency run group home and one controlled by the person (with family’s help) is that the person has the power to fire and hire. It is up to the network of support and family and the independent facilitator to make sure that it is not controlled by the staff. If you get good staff (which is difficult) you can have a good team. It is true that the support will then depend on that income. But really for a person with higher need it is very difficult to find community people to share ( we are trying). But I still cannot accept to call it a “group home”. If the person owns the house or even rents the house they are in charge. They can go for walks, go in the community with mask, enjoy themselves and are not stuck for one and a half year at the house with 5 housemates who have been made scared of even walking the block and not allowed to except the backyard! I hate what the agencies are doing and really think we are lucky to have the choice and they don’t. For them its all about the agecy’s liability! take care
    Susan Popper
    do carry on the good work. I have a number of families who are adopting your sessions. 🙂

  • Thanks for the idea of a mind-shift regarding a “supportive roommate”. As part of a non-profit project where we are recruiting for the 2nd time in less than a year, this phrase alone might improve our handling of candidates. We used “compatible housemate” in our latest ads, to at least indicate that we need more than “just a roommate”, but we’re afraid of putting too much information in the ad because of safety and provacy concerns for the two existing residents who are developmentally-challenged. We are finding it very difficult to reach the type of person who will be supportive, so if you have any other suggestions, it would be appreciated.

    • Marion, we have recently lost our family managed support person for our daughter. You said you have been using ads to recruit for someone new. Where do you advertise?

  • Loved this, I taught about having my daughter live independently with a roommate and I forgot about it. Thanks for this video, it’s been a reminder for me. God bless 🙏❤️

  • These were great video commentaries on planning for families. Even though I see myself wanting everything for my kids that is in an awesome ordinary life I still seem to fall into the disability mindset trap when it comes to creating housing (I should start saying “creating a home” from now on). I love the supportive roommate idea!! It just makes so much sense.

  • Thanks for this information. It was helpful. I can see both my kids living in their own apartments with or without a roommate.

  • Great info, maybe some ideas about how to find these supportive roommates. Where are they? How do we know they are qualified and have good intentions? I like this idea but where is the supportive roommate?

    • Hi, I seen your name Caulfield and that’s my maiden name! It’s not very common so it caught my attention. My granddaughter is special needs and we live in Yuma AZ. I was wondering where you Live?

  • Amen it is time to make everyone’s living environment a HOME for the individual that gives them pride privacy and control!!!!

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