OCL is seeking a Housemates:

As a housemate, you would be responsible for providing overnight support to an individual with special needs in the Onondaga area. As a housemate, you will also be a natural support to this person in times of triumph, need or trouble. You will be a part of a team of staff, friends and family who cooperatively work together to enable the individual to have an enjoyable, well connected and pleasant life.

1194983761256499536house_gabrielle_nowicki_.svg.hiYou would not be considered to be in a staff or volunteer role. You would be entering into this situation freely as a private citizen, companion and friend. As a housemate, there will be fixed expenses that you will be responsible for paying, including: a housemate deposit, your fair share of food & household expenses, half of the cable/internet bill and your own long distance charges (if applicable). As a perk, you will receive free rent & utilities.

For more information or for interested candidates, please contact: Daniel Kelley danielk@oclinc.org


What is Life Sharing? 

The residential services that we develop for each person who comes tomike and gary us is based on the belief that every person wants to live a normal life. When this is recognized, traditional services are not usually discussed. Most people we talk with want to live with people they value and can look up to and learn from. Housemates are typical members of the community who enter into a life-sharing situation with a person with a disability. Housemates not only share the home, they make this their own residence also. They live there as friends and companions to the person with a disability and develop a life together. We then back up the housemate support with agency staff, looking at each housemate’s personal work and social schedule to ensure that the person being supported has the proper support at all times.


What is a housemate?

Nikki and Shane at his bar-b-queHousemates are typically thoughtful people who, at this time in their lives, are willing to share a home with someone in need. Several housemates have come through connections that the person with the disability has i.e. past staff member, family friend. Other housemates have come through social connections i.e. school, church. And other housemates are found through personal advertisements. Staff screen each housemate and if an appropriate match is determined, they are then introduced to the person being supported, and their loved ones. It is the determination of the person supported and their loved ones as to who will move in. Housemates are not typically staff of the agency or on agency payroll. They are companions to the person being supported. We typically ask for at least a one year commitment and a three month notice of intention to move.

What does a housemate get in return?

Every situation is different based upon the needs, and desires, of the person and their loved ones. What is standard in each situation is that the housemate lives in the home rent free and free from the costs of utilities. Each housemate shares in the food expenses and pays for the extra phone line or long distance if needed. The housemate is also able to attend school or maintain his or her full time position elsewhere.

Who are some of the housemates?

We have people from all walks of life. We have contractors, social service workers, students, retirees, school professionals, merchandise workers, health professionals, the list goes on. The only common thread is people who have a good heart and have the willingness to share a home with someone in need.