Regular reader Yana Davis writes to ask our thoughts on “a new kind of social service network:”
There are many adults today living alone, not because they necessarily want to, but because they are not in primary relationships, their families and friends are distant from them, they have no immediate families or other reasons.
Creation of “working families” through placement of compatible adults, including single parents, in “US Family” homes with 3-4 adults, spanning several generations, who would share expenses, coalesce into family-like units, and provide the same kind of support for each other that biological families provide.
The idea sounded familiar to the Nonprofiteer, but she couldn’t think why until she remembered the Chicago-area nonprofit H.O.M.E., Housing Opportunities and Maintenance for the Elderly, which among its other programs provides cross-generational communal housing. While focused on the financially needy (rather than the merely lonely), the concept seems much the same: created families, so to speak.
The H.O.M.E. system has proved its merit over some years, and the Nonprofiteer suggests that Yana investigate joining forces with people who’ve already perfected the model. Like all social service agencies, H.O.M.E. struggles to secure enough support to serve its clients; perhaps a project focused on those whose needs are social rather than financial would help cover the costs of its core work.