Life Sharing

In Lifesharing, households open their homes and hearts to adults with intellectual disabilities, offering an ongoing sense of belonging as well as day-to-day care. Lifesharing operates under the belief that relationships make life worth living. In successful matches, individuals and the families that welcome them benefit from the shared trust, friendship and experiences that all add up to enhanced living.

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Historically, Lifesharing households – called sponsor families or sponsors – had no biological relationship to the individual. However, as of July 2017, biological family members are eligible for the program and the stipend for care that it provides.

Lifesharing originated in Pennsylvania in 1982. Today, more than two thousand adults with intellectual disabilities call these households home. Recognized for being as much about close personal relationships as it is about having a place to live, the program offers adults with disabilities a continuous, family-oriented style of care known for its high satisfaction rates. For approved sponsor families, Lifesharing provides a daily stipend as well as the rewarding experience of sharing life with a willing adult. No more than two adults with developmental disabilities live in any one home at the same time.


Families of every type – including individuals currently living alone – can apply to become Lifesharing providers. Interested households are encouraged to review the application materials, which include criteria for homes licensed under Chapter 6500 regulations. Next, contact your regional office and ask to speak with a specialist.

Step By Step works closely with all eager and eligible households to make the application and licensing process as minimally disruptive as possible. Step By Step also takes extreme care to create successful household matches. In rare instances where Lifesharing pairings are not successful, Step By Step works with the individual and their team to locate another opportunity or another residential option.

For More Information on the Lifesharing application materials please contact:

Lehigh Valley Regional Office      (610) 867-0688

Northeast Regional Office            (570) 829-3477

Western Regional Office               (412) 655-8677