Shirley's Story

Finding a Family

Shirley and Simone - Finding a Family

When Shirley Lock’s parents passed away, she moved into a residential group home. The staff and residents all were welcoming, but she missed being part of a traditional family.

That’s where Simone Stevens came in. Simone, a program manager in the Barber National Institute Supported Employment program in Philadelphia, was interested in exploring Lifesharing through Family Living. With this residential option, an adult with disabilities lives with a provider companion or family in their home in what is meant to be a long-term, enduring relationship.

Shirley already knew Simone from attending the day program and having a job in the community.  The Lifesharing support team arranged for Simone and her daughter, who was then 11 years old, to have dinner together. After a few meetings, they progressed to a weekend visit, and Shirley finally spent a week in the Stevens home. Over that time, they all came to believe that Lifesharing would work for them.

“Shirley was like a breath of fresh air in our home,” said Simone. “She was already very independent and outgoing, but she has grown a lot. She’s much happier in a family setting.”

Shirley agrees that it is a positive experience.

“I like living with Simone. She takes good care of me,” said Shirley.  
Like most adults in Lifesharing, Shirley is involved in a day program or employment during the day.  When she returns home, Simone and her daughter join Shirley in typical family activities. “Shirley’s favorite things are going to the movies or out to dinner, and she loves shopping. We do all kinds of girly things,” said Simone. “She is part of my family through and through.”


Shirley and Simone - Finding a Family