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A group home is a private house that serves as a home for people who are not in the same family but have a common characteristic. In the United States, this would mean a home for people who need social assistance or who are not able to live alone or without proper care for safety reasons. Before the 1970s, these people lived in psychiatric hospitals, homes for the poor and orphanages.
People who live in a group home may be recovering drug addicts, developmentally disabled, abused or neglected youths, and/or young people with a criminal record. A group home is different from a halfway house because it is not restricted to recovering addicts or convicted criminals, and also because the people who live there usually have to help maintain the household by doing chores or helping to manage a budget. In most countries, people can still vote and attend university while in a group home.
There are typically from 3 to 16 residents, as well as a resident manager or service staff. Residents may have their own room or share rooms, and share facilities such as laundry, bathroom, kitchen and common living areas. The opening of group homes is occasionally fought against by neighbours who fear that it will lead to a rise in crime and/or a drop in property values.
A group home can also refer to family homes in which children and youth of the foster care system are placed until foster families are found for them.