HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- DePaul Community Resources announced the launch of a new campaign called "Embracing Everyday Life," aimed at recruiting Sponsored Home Providers.
The program matches individuals in need with certified homes.
In 2012, the state of Virginia was found guilty of violating federal law with its treatment of intellectually and developmentally disabled individuals in training centers.
The state entered into a ten year 2 billion dollar settlement agreement to close all but one of these centers, which means these individuals now need to find somewhere to live.
That's where DePaul Community Resources' Sponsored Housing Providers come in. People open their homes to meet the needs of these individuals, making them part of the family unit.
"We provide the training to them to be able to meet those specific needs of the individual," explained regional recruiter Chris Tompkins. "It involves things such as 24 hour care, physical assistance, assistance with things such as personal hygiene, community integration, life activities, and various independent skill building."
Not only do Sponsored Housing Providers create a better quality of life for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, it's also less than half the cost of housing in institutions.
The Department of Justice found that the average cost to institutionalize an individual is about $194,000 per year, compared to $74,000 per year to reside in a group or sponsored home.
Tompkins explained that caring for an individual with one of these disabilities is a long-term, but fulfilling commitment.
"If you're asking yourself that question that a lot of us do, 'How can I make a difference in the world,' this is it. This is one of those things where you can really make a difference in the life and the outcome of someone's quality of life," said Tompkins.
Tompkins says the need in our area is urgent; the Central Virginia Training Center will close in 2020.
You can learn more about becoming a Sponsored Residential Provider here.