Dungarvin Ohio Grows with Need of Community

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Sep 28
Tony Baisley, Communications Manager
Dungarvin National Central Office


For more than 30 years, Dungarvin has been serving the state of Ohio. Over this time, this service has grown to support more than 300 individuals across 14 counties. The range of services provided is surprisingly vast in order to meet the unique needs of each individual. Caregivers and managers at Dungarvin Ohio work cooperatively with each individual, their families, and support teams as well as state/county entities to ensure quality services that are tailored for the individual.

Recently, the Ohio team has certified two new Shared Living locations that are now prepped and ready to accept new individuals. “Ohio Shared Living is similar to Host Homes in other states. Dungarvin hires a contractor to open his/her/their home to an individual or individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities,” said Sara Eppard, State Director. “Up to three adults, aged 18 or older, moves in with the vetted contractor and becomes part of their family.” Perhaps of interest to some is that family members can be providers of Ohio Shared Living (OSL) services – and some outcomes have been truly inspiring!

Take the story of Dungarvin contractor Regene Denton, who supports Shannon Jackson, who lives with her. “OSL was very beneficial for Shannon and me,” Regene said. “While I was working as a DSP five hours a day, five days a week, it seemed like I could never do enough for Shannon. Now I have more time with him to make sure that he is safe and happy. There were things that were going on with him physically that I didn’t see but now that I have him in my home, I understand the issues and can work with professionals to fix them.” Regene reports that Shannon now interacts “as part of our family.” She goes on to say, “I have seen more of his personality since he’s been in my home and we have been able to know one another better. I am seeing more smiles and hearing more happy sounds from him!”

Regene and Shannon_Ohio Shared Living

For the individuals being served through OSL, the benefits can be numerous – and life-enriching. For some, it may be the first time they have felt authentic community inclusion. Being part of a family or extended family provides a sense of stability that oftentimes leads to life-long friendships and feelings of empowerment that can allow an individual’s self-confidence to blossom. Perhaps most importantly, such an arrangement often means no staff turnover, an unfortunate possibility in more traditional group home settings.

For OSL Providers, the benefits are numerous. Contractors work from home but are usually able to hold outside employment as well. In comparison to DSP wages, OSL Providers can make up to $50,000 per year serving one person; more than $87,000 to serve two individuals in their home. Plus, the daily rate paid to OSL Providers is tax free! Counties and State agencies appreciate the continuity and stability for the persons served as well as the significant financial savings of not having to provide the housing itself. These agencies report that, on average, for one person currently in a 24/7 supportive living environment, traditional annual costs usually fall into the $141,000-$151,000 range. Funding to support someone in OSL is less than half that: $43,000-$71,000 – a savings of between 54-70 percent!

OSL Providers go through the same background checks and training as Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) which include:

– Driver’s license check and valid car insurance

– Multiple registry checks

– Current CPR/First Aid

– DODD initial training + Specific ISP Training

– Medication Administration (14 hour + annual)

If you live in Ohio and are interested in OSL, either as a provider or an individual served, please contact Sarah Lazirko at 614-547-8413 to discuss this option. Thank you.

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