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New housing option helps those with disabilities

It's tough for any parent to let go of their adult child, but it's especially difficult for parents of an individual with special needs. As they work toward personal goals of independence, people with disabilities have added challenges. Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota's (LSS) Host Homes, a new option, can offer extra security and peace of mind as these families navigate through one of life's biggest transitions.

"This is a very unique housing option," explained Alissa Dott, program director for Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. "It offers a nurturing and supportive family-style living environment for people with disabilities who are seeking more opportunities to engage in their community and live fuller, more independent lives.

Host Home providers are licensed and trained under Minnesota's adult foster care guidelines to offer personalized care that supports the individual's unique needs. In partnership with LSS, the host family works with individuals to build their skills and capacity to participate in all aspects of family and community life. The unique care model promotes personal choice by developing customized support plans based on the interests and personal goals of each person.

"The opportunity to become involved in the Host Home program has made what seemed impossible, possible for our family and the adults we support," said James Schwenke, Host Home provider for Lutheran Social Service. "The individualized care that John and Charlie receive has made a noticeable difference in the richness of their lives, and sharing life with them has been a huge blessing in ours."

Statewide, LSS serves 1,500 people with disabilities through supervised community homes, host homes, in-home support and respite care. For more information about the Host Home program, please contact Alissa Dott at 651.269.4764 or