What regulations are there for group homes?

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    Facebook Profile photoBrenda Harkins

    We want to start a group home for autistic men in Kansas, in a rural setting not far from Wichita. This would be a permanent home for these guys, with on-site daily jobs and 24 hour supervision and help. We own land we can donate to the cause. How do we learn about CMS and Medicaid regulations? What kind of structures are best? What resources are available to help us fund this? Any wisdom anyone can share is appreciated. Thanks!

    Desiree Kameka

    Greetings Brenda,

    First of all, thank you for considering using your land to create a home for people who often are left with very few choices. My recommendations are as follows:

    1. Decide the group home model is actually the model you want. There are benefits and considerations to this model, but it is not your only choice. Group homes are “provider-controlled” settings, one’s services and their home can not be separated. You can also decide to create a home dedicated to providing accessible, affordable housing and the men who live there choose the provider and keep it as “consumer-controlled”, therefore if one of the roommates needs to change providers, they can do so without having to move. This means you also would not have to become a service provider agency. Check out 18 different housing and support models by viewing our AHN Virtual Tour: http://www.autismhousingnetwork.org/education/virtual-tour-housing-options/
    2.  There are certainly Medicaid rules and regulations that must be understood and taken into account if you want to become a Medicaid provider. Every state has their own rules and management system in addition to the federal regulations. Visit your state Medicaid authority website to learn about what waivers provide comprehensive residential supports: https://www.kdads.ks.gov/commissions/home-community-based-services-(hcbs)  You can learn more about the challenges and considerations of new Medicaid waiver regulations by visiting the Coalition for Community Choice website: http://coalitionforcommunitychoice.org/
    3. Please visit the AHN Resource Directory for links to helpful information. In particular, use the filters on the right-hand side to find resources on ‘Tools for Developing Housing’ and ‘Financing Housing Development’ and ‘Project Formation.’
    4. If you would like 1-to-1 assistance or more detailed guidance, you can schedule a consultation with me by filling out this form: http://www.autismhousingnetwork.org/schedule-30-minute-consultation/
    5. Please fill out this form so others in Kansas can connect with you by finding you in the AHN Housing Directory: http://www.autismhousingnetwork.org/housing/submit-a-listing/

    Hope this helps get you started!

    Best regards,


    Facebook Profile photoJenInman

    I would like to follow up with participant who posted this request.  I live in the Overland Park, KS area and am interested in starting or assisting with more community housing options for the autistic community.  The state of Kansas has minimal, if no, options for community living.  Certainly, there is a need and I want to be part of meeting that need.


    Jennifer Inman

    Desiree Kameka

    @Jennifer, I’ll reach out to Brenda and give her your contact info.



    I am also in the Wichita area (parent of autistic adult male).  My wife and I are thinking about converting our primary residence into a home for him and a few other adults.  Would you like to discuss ideas via e-mail?  I’m not sure where to start.


    Geoff Bleakley

    Desiree Kameka

    Happy to have been able to connect all of you!

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