Forget institutions and group homes. New programs across the country are placing people with developmental disabilities with families.

Rather than live in an institutional setting, the idea is that individuals become part of a family unit, partaking in everyday activities like grocery shopping and sharing holidays and other special occasions.

The situation works out well for Richard Mitrichko, 73, who has lived with Donald and LuLu Olson in their San Diego, Calif. area home for three years now. The Olsons help Mitrichko manage his money, shop for food and other incidentals and take him to doctor appointments. In exchange, the Olsons get $1,400 a month to cover Mitrichko’s rent and as compensation for helping him out.

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But the arrangement certainly isn’t about the money. The three say they’re like family and regularly watch baseball games together or go to feed the ducks at a local lake, reports The San Diego Union-Tribune. To read more click here.


Previous stories on this topic:

Scoop Essentials: In Search Of Home Sweet Home (May 12, 2009)