We are in the middle of a Civil Rights Movement!
LifeShare's approach to Human Services is unlike that of any other Human Services Organization today. Human Services is a field that has historically been viewed as charitable. The days of the "Poster Child" and Telethons have cast a shadow of pity over the millions of people who access the Human Services System every day.
LifeShare's motto is "Real Life for Real People
We believe that the community should be open to everyone - people of all abilities. This is a very different approach compared to traditional support models. People with disabilities, troubled youth and our elders have historically been institutionalized, taken out of society and put away in hospitals, nursing homes and group homes. We believe that the community can sustain everyone. Group homes should be eliminated, and people should be able to have their own apartments, houses, roommates, neighbors and friends. This challenge involves educating the system itself with the message "there is a better way to support people".
While living or receiving treatment in hospitals, nursing homes and group homes, many people have experienced restraints of all types. A number of people are medicated so that they can no longer communicate their feelings, or feel at all. Countless people are literally restrained using mechanical or physical force from staff.
LifeShare is a non-restraint agency. We believe that behavior is a form of communication. When someone is expressing anger, we believe that it's our job to listen and find a way to let their voice count. This gives people such a sense of comfort and dignity. It's like an invisible wall that was in front of them melted down, and we have the honor of seeing the real person. This is where real, meaningful therapy and treatment begins. LifeShare breaks walls down, we don't build them up.
We are a Human Services Organization that values the rights of people who receive human services and helps to connect people to their communities. These connections help people work towards independence from the system. The goal is to keep people out of institutional settings and in their communities, where they can exercise their rights as citizens and continue to contribute to society as a whole.
Our model is embraced by many people for many different reasons. We find the most cost effective and normalized way to support people by utilizing resources that are already available in the community. LifeShare's model puts the individual first, and gives people choice and control in their lives. This person-centered approach, which values civil rights, is embraced by everyone.
When people ask what we do at LifeShare we reply... "We help people get a life!
There are so many people today; troubled youth, people with disabilities or people who are elderly who are simply being warehoused because there is no other place for them. We are helping people reclaim their rightful place in their communities where they have the opportunity to live an ordinary life, with successes and failures. We will continue to educate the community by shouting out loud "People who have historically been institutionalized are not scary, they are not ill, they are your neighbors, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers; everyone has a gift! Let's find it."