Interact began operating a family living, or life sharing, program in 1998. Operating much like a foster care arrangement, a family takes into their home a person with intellectual disability, assumes the responsibility of caring for the individual as a part of their family, and is paid a monthly stipend. This monthly stipend varies in the amount depending upon the specific needs of the individual consumer, but typically covers food expenses, recreational costs, respite care, and other costs associated with making that individual a part of the family.
The expectation is that this family living arrangement provides a safe, clean, and supportive living environment for the “new” family member: ensuring that his or her hygiene needs, clothing requirements, and meal schedules are met; providing adequate supervision; and fully including the person with intellectual disability as a member of the family. The sponsoring family agrees to periodic visits from Interact staff and government regulatory agencies as necessary.