SHARE is a housing program that seeks to match someone wishing to have someone else share the home, with someone looking for affordable housing.

MILFORD - SHARE is a housing program that seeks to match someone wishing to have someone else share the home, with someone looking for affordable housing. The program has bene in place in Wayne, Pike and Monroe Counties 14 months and has been a success, the Pike County Commissioners heard, October 3rd.

“In the last 14 months we have been more successful than we anticipated,” said Larisa Yusko, who oversees the program in Pike and Wayne Counties. “To date we have had 415 inquiries about the program in Pike, Wayne and Monroe Counties. We’ve done close to 200 applications for the program. We’ve also had 13 matches, and right now we currently have seven matches going on.”

She stated that two of the matches have been over six months, and two others are in their sixth month. “The longevity of this program is being shown,” Yusko said.

The SHARE Housing Counselor for Monroe County, Ryan Lohman, said, “The reason this program was created was to help our seniors age in place if that is what they want to do.”

Lohman reported that they have been successful at allowing two seniors to stay in their home rather than having to enter a personal care facility.

“I had a woman who had the early onset of Alzheimer’s; her family lived in a different state, she had no support. I was able to match her with a woman in her 50’s who for $100 - that’s all they’re taking in rent - she helps keep the woman transported back and forth to the grocery store, she keeps her on her medication, she gives her the security knowing there’s somebody else in the house in case there something happened.”

Additionally, Lohman said that she has another woman who could very easily be placed in personal care, but they were able to provide someone to share the house and give the woman security there is somebody else present.

Yusko said, “Another good example is a couple in Pike County that needed extra money to help support their taxes in their home.” SHARE was able to find a match who also is able to help out with odds and ends.

SHARE is administered through the Pennsylvania Department of Aging. “SHARE” refers to Shared Housing and Resource Exchange.

A homeowner and home seeker meet separately with the SHARE Housing Counselor to discuss needs and preferences, complete the application and provide references.

The counselor conducts background checks, identifies potential matches, introduces the homeowners and home seekers, coordinates the written agreement, oversees the trial living period, provides ongoing support and connects the participants to other community resources.

Those who are eligible include older adults, persons with disabilities, veterans, working professionals, college students, people at risk of homelessness, single parents or people simply wishing to share their lives with homes with others.

SHARE participants must bene at least 18 years of age and one of the individuals in the match must be over 60.

Robin LoDolce, Aging Director for Pike County, said they are very happy to have this program in place. They are getting referrals from caseworkers from various agencies.”We;re very happy that the word is getting out,” she said.

For more information, residents in Pike and Wayne Counties need to call Larisa Yusko at 570-832-5133.

Residents of Monroe County need to contact Ryan Lohman at 570-832-0538.