Why Mosaic at Home is Our Largest Residential Service

For decades, many had the idea of Mosaic as a place to go where people lived in homes or on campuses in group settings. But that’s been changing, as our services evolve in new ways that respond to what people want their lives to look like.

Linda Timmons, Mosaic’s President and CEO, says it well: “Mosaic is no longer a place you go, but instead is something you are a part of.”

Already in the late 1970s, Mosaic started helping people who chose to move from campus settings into community settings. Several states invited our predecessor organizations—Bethphage and Martin Luther Home—to establish services to help people leave state-run institutions. In some cases, it was families of people with disabilities who asked the organizations to come. Because the call to serve has always been core to us, the organizations responded.

In the 1980s, both organizations started offering a new model, which today is commonly known as Shared Living or Host Homes. Today we call it Mosaic at Home, and it has become our largest 24-hour residential service. 

The numbers are pretty dramatic. Of the people we support in 24/7 residential services (which includes group settings, intermediate care facilities and shared living), 65% are now served through shared living. Ten years ago, that would have been unimaginable. Additionally, the revenue to Mosaic from that growth has increased by 230% in ten years. 

While revenue is essential to keep the organization sustainable, growth is an outcome of serving people—not our goal in serving people. Our goal is to give people as many options as possible, so they can live the life they choose in a place they want to live. That’s illustrated by the fact we need to serve more people through Mosaic at Home to capture the same amount of revenue as we could in another setting—it’s not about the money.

We regularly hear dramatic stories about how people’s lives have changed for the better since becoming a part of our Mosaic at Home service. The stories continue to encourage, affirm and  brighten the hearts of our workforce. 

Recently, someone we support in a shared living home said, “I believe Mosaic saved my life.” She went on to speak of her earlier problems—some of which were life threatening because of physical and mental health challenges along with substance use. But then she came into our  Mosaic at Home service and receives the support she needs. She now leads a peer group on mental health and looks at her life as “beautiful,” because she’s been able to succeed in ways she never thought possible. 

A home provider recently shared the story of the person she supports. The young woman had been in and out of foster homes since she was 18 months old, and as a result, had no self-esteem and faced everything in life with fear. “It was heartbreaking. She was scared, her appearance was disheveled and she was very confused,” the provider shared. But following weeks and weeks of the home provider’s patience and understanding, the young woman changed. Knowing her opinion is valued, she began speaking up for herself. Ready to make a new start, she threw out everything from her past she could. She now routinely smiles and laughs and loves her independence.

We now serve more than 1,700 people through Mosaic at Home shared living. We could easily find 1,700 stories of people experiencing positive changes, stories of people having the opportunity to become the person they want to become, stories of success. It’s not uncommon that someone comes to Mosaic asking about the service, because they’ve heard about it from others. 

The evolution of services continues to move in ways that increase people’s choice and independence. It gives people with intellectual and developmental disabilities the same opportunities that anyone would expect in life—choosing where and with whom you live and how you spend your days.

Mosaic is no longer a place you go, but instead is something you are a part of. Each of us is made better because of it.

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