“Having a place to go is HOME
Having someone to love is FAMILY
Having both is a WONDERFUL LIFE.”


What is Lifesharing?

Lifesharing officially began in Pennsylvania in 1982 with a family who wanted to support their friend in their own home. Lifesharing means living with and sharing life experiences with a supportive person or persons who form a caring household.

Lifesharing is recognized as being both a close personal relationship and a place to live. Lifesharing offers an individual with a disability the opportunity to live with a family, or an individual, who will support his/her desires and needs for an everyday life.

Individuals supported in Lifesharing include children and adults with a wide variety of needs and challenges. Lifesharing enhances and enriches the lives of individuals by offering another residential living option other than a traditional Community Living Home (Group Home).

Frequently Asked Questions

How many people can Lifeshare in one home?

Lifesharing can be done with 1 or 2 people with disabilities in a single home. Individual needs and preferences are considered in making the decision to become involved in Lifesharing.

 Can I provide lifesharing to my family member?

The following relatives may provide Lifesharing services, and do not require their home to be licensed:

  • Parent
  • Child
  • Stepparent
  • Stepchild
  • Grandparent
  • Grandchild
  • Brother, Sister
  • Half-brother, Half-sister
  • Aunt, Uncle
  • Niece or nephew.

Relatives may not provide life sharing to individuals under 18 years of age (a relative is responsible to meet the needs of a participant who is younger than 18 years of age, including the need for assistance and supervision typically required for children at various stages of growth and development).  Provider agencies must develop a pre-service agreement with relatives that states the Lifesharing program requirements that the relative(s) must comply with to be a host family.

What is expected of a Lifesharing Family?

The host family, or individual, must comply with the policies, procedures and regulations of the provider agency, the county and the state, which includes providing a safe, nurturing and healthy environment in which the person has choice.

Who supports Lifesharing families?

  • County Programs such as Lackawannna-Susquehanna BH/ID/EI Program
  • Provider Agencies
  • Regional Lifesharing Coalitions

What are the benefits of being a Lifesharer?

Lifesharers experience many benefits in Lifesharing

  • A new friend and companion
  • The unique gifts and talents the individual brings to the relationship
  • Support of the Lifesharing community
  • A generous stipend
  • The opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life
  • Respite and training are also available

What are the benefits for the individual with a disability to be a part of Lifesharing?

  • To be a member of a caring household
  • Friendship & trust in people who care about you
  • Continuity in one’s life
  • Increased involvement in community life

What are some of the qualifications/requirements of a Lifesharer?

  • Home Study/Intake Process (A period of three to six months is recommended to facilitate the development of relationships.  However, there is no fixed timeframe – this is a natural process based on the person and his/her choices.
  • Criminal Background Check
  • Child Abuse Clearance
  • Training
  • Time and space to support a Lifesharing relationship

How can I get additional information on becoming a Lifesharing host family?

  • Contact the Lackawanna-Susquehanna BHIDEI Program by calling 570-346-5741
  • Contact a local provider agency that offers life sharing services:
The Arc of Northeastern PA Kelly Peters 570-346-4010
Moreen Cosmark
The Deveruex Foundation John Gething 570-241-8665
Mike Horne 570-839-6162
Human Resources Center Inc Tracy Johannes 570.253.3782
Keystone Community Resources Inc John Bershefsky 570-702-8000
National Mentor Healthcare LLC Dave Pall 570-760-7702
Stevei Martin 570-654-4585
Step by Step Inc Sandy Pelleschi 570-270-7952

How can I get additional information if I or a family member wants to live in a Lifesharing home?

  • Contact the Lackawanna-Susquehanna BHIDEI Program by calling 570-346-5741
  • Contact your Supports Coordinator

For additional information visit these websites:

 Source:  Pennsylvania LifeSharing Coalition