The Arc of Rensselaer County provides residential supports to over 170 individuals who live in over 80 locations throughout the agency's service area. The Arc provides a range of services, from the traditional group home setting to supportive apartments and life-sharing. Group residential settings provide 24-hour staff supports to a group of three or more individuals. Supportive apartments provide staff supports to one or two individuals living in their own apartment as needed. Life sharing offers live-in staff support in the same home as the person being supported. Paid neighbors offer live-near supports and reside in either the same building or complex as the person supported. The residential structure varies depending on the needs and wishes of the person supported. The Arc of Rensselaer County prides itself in creatively tailoring supports around people and their families.
Types of Residential Support
- Group Residential Settings: Group settings provide 24 hours support. Every person has a bedroom of their own and shares common living space, such as the kitchen, dining rooms, and some bathrooms. Staffing levels are based on the needs of the people to balance safety and freedom.
- Supportive Living Arrangments: Supportive arrangements offer residential supports without 24-hour staff. Staff schedule times and activities with the person. Some examples of typical supports are money and home management, community inclusion, and relationship building. Staff are available 24-hours a day for emergencies.
- Live-ins: We support a number of people who like the experience of having their own home while maintaining the safety and support of having staff 24-hours a day. This option meets the needs of those who desire or need 24-hour support in a non-traditional manner. Supports are person-specific, but in all cases the home is the person’s home and the staff live with the person supported.
- Paid Neighbors: This offers companionship and support to individuals who want to live on their own but would benefit from having immediate access to 24-hour supports. Paid neighbors can provide 24-hour emergency supports. These staff live either in the same building or complex as the person they support. They are hired by the person they support and provide individual services depending on needs. One example of these services is a paid neighbor who lives upstairs from a married couple who has a toddler. The paid neighbor offered supports throughout the couple’s pregnancy and offers the couple a great balance between independence and support.
SMALL, INDIVIDUALIZED SETTINGS
The Arc of Rensselaer County prides itself in offering small, individualized settings and is transforming its larger homes to more individualized settings. For twenty years the agency has not developed a site serving more than three people. The largest site provides services to eight people. Since 2000, three group homes have been closed and supports are now provided on a more individualized basis. Another six group homes have been downsized and now support fewer people in a single setting.
The Arc of Rensselaer County offers many unique options to partner with families.
- The Arc worked with a family to offer them 24-hour residential support to their two children while maintaining close proximity. The family worked with the agency to convert their home into two apartments. The parents reside in the upstairs apartment and their adult children live in the downstairs apartment, which is a state certified 24-hour supervised IRA.
- The Arc worked with a mother and her two adult children to individualize their supports. One son had received traditional supportive apartment services. State regulations were not appropriate to his needs, so the agency partnered with the family to transition him to non-certified, self directed supports. Her other son lived in a traditional supervised setting with two others. The agency partnered with the family to think of creative ways to meet his needs. He still receives 24-hour supports, but instead of living with two others, he lives with his mother and sister. Both men have been very successful in their individual services and neither had to change homes.