NYFSC’s free Home Sharing Program helps link adult “hosts” with extra private spaces in their homes or apartments with appropriate adult “guests” to share their space. One of the matchmates must be age 60 or older. The program also serves adult “hosts” age 55 or older, who are interested in sharing with developmentally disabled adult “guests” capable of independent living.
Professional Social Work staff comprehensively screen and check the references of all host and guest applicants. They use QUICK-MATCH, a unique database, to help them determine the most potentially compatible matchmates by inputting their 31 lifestyle objectives. To facilitate potential hosts and guests in determining their compatibility and willingness to be matched in a shared living arrangement with one another, the staff schedule and attend “match meetings”. Prior to moving in, the service offers a written agreement to help hosts and guests feel a level of confidence and sense of security in their shared living arrangements.
For more than three decades, the enthusiasm of participants in NYFSC’s Home Sharing Program has run high. Home Sharing has attracted considerable recognition in the media as a fresh approach that works and had also gained national recognition as an affordable housing opportunity that can provide financial relief as well as companionship. Both hosts and guests benefit from reduced housing costs and the possibility of companionship to offset the isolation and loneliness experienced by many living alone.
According to Amy Ronek, a 32 year old Home Sharing “guest” in Manhattan: “After moving to New York from Iowa, I found that it was much harder to find a job than to find a comfortable, affordable home in Manhattan. The Foundation’s Home Sharing Program’s professional staff quickly found the perfect home for me, matching me with Maxine, a wonderful ‘host’. That’s why home sharing turned out to be such a great solution.”
Funding is received through New York State Legislators, New York State Office for the Aging, New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, New York City Department for the Aging, New York City Council Members’ and Borough Presidents’ discretionary funds as well as private contributions.