How does your company pair housemates…is it based on age, gender, level of functioning, or some combination of these factors?
We definitely try to keep homes single-sexed, with very few exceptions. We generally prefer to pair housemates with peers who are on a similar level of communication and participation. However, our many years of experience in trying to anticipate who will get along best with whom has taught us that ”obvious” matches might not be as intuitive as they may seem; sometimes our intuition regarding how we anticipate individuals will get along is not correct, and we have to try alternate arrangements (with everyone’s consent) until we are truly successful in matching up peers who get along in ways we never would have predicted. There’s usually some trial and error until we get it right…but eventually, we will achieve success. Also, having more homes within a geographical region from which we might try out different combinations, when needed, expands the opportunities for re-matching and thus helps to facilitate better group cohesion in the long run. In a nutshell, we don’t force friendships, we try out different combinations until the right combinations become clear.