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One of the family UCS Shared Living program pairs clients with families – and homes

Source: Bennington Banner, April 25, 2011, by Neal Goswami

“BENNINGTON — Stacey’s bedroom, dominated by pink tones, is filled with some of the artwork she has created since moving in with the Von Ouhl family and becoming part of it about 16 years ago. Stacey, 39, who lives with Marilyn Von Ouhl and her family as part of United Counseling Service’s Shared Living program, beams with pride as she displays various pieces of work. She enjoys building things, and her favorite piece, she said in sign language, is a home made of wood with a stone pathway. The Shared Living Program began at UCS about 30 years ago. It allows developmentally disabled people who cannot live alone, or may not be able to continue living with family, to continue the experience of living with a family. It began as a more cost-effective way to provide care traditional institutions offered. But it also provided better treatment and care for the developmentally disabled, said Kathy Hamilton, director of developmental services at UCS. “It supports our treatment beliefs for people, that no matter who you are, what your disability is, you should have the right to all of the freedoms, all of the opportunities that everybody else has, which means being fully integrated with the community, being able to have a family life,” Hamilton said. There are currently about 50 individuals taking part in the program in Bennington County, Hamilton, said. Those in the program have a varying range of disabilities, and therefore, there are different goals for each…” Full Story: One of the family UCS Shared Living program pairs clients with families – and homes PDF of Story: One of the family UCS Shared Living program pairs clients with families – and homes

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