Uniting Communities’ Garth Ebelthite admits it can be an “odd experience” sharing your home with a stranger – but the benefits of this living arrangement overrides any doubts.
Running successfully in the UK and America for more than 20 years, the South Australian aged and community care provider, formerly known as UnitingCare Wesley, joined the homeshare scheme early this year.
Founded on the belief people have a right to live in their own home with as much independence as possible, homeshare matches older householders looking for companionship and some assistance around the home with homesharers who are caring, honest and reliable, and who are able to offer this in return for free accommodation.
Homeshare coordinator, Mr Ebelthite, tells DPS News the scheme has already shown positive results since the start of the year.
“While it can be an odd experience, our clients say it’s nice to have someone around, and that it’s the little things like the mundane things, such as having someone to help around the house that are the huge benefits,” he says.
“We have been busy in the past three months with a trickle of referrals and interest about the program coming from many different sources.
“We currently have one on-going match, another trialled and about to begin and half a dozen householders awaiting a suitable homesharer.”
According to Mr Ebelthite, the team has established a “strong pool” of 12 homesharers, who are either matched or awaiting an appropriate householder.
“All range in age, backgrounds and abilities; from a music therapist to a graduated nurse,” he adds.
Homesharers generally pursue their own job or studies during the day and offer about 10 hours of practical help and companionship per week.
While the team have households in almost every region of metropolitan Adelaide, they are still yet to find some in the eastern suburbs.
“For various reasons (work, study commitments etc), many homesharers are ideally looking for houses in the eastern region.”
To read DPS News’ January article on the Uniting Communities Homeshare program, click here.
For eligibility criteria to become a homesharer, contact Kelly MacGillivray on (08) 8375 1420.