Enrollment Information

Please note that Southwinds’ does NOT have a any kind of waiting list. Interested parties are advised to contact the Allegheny County Department of Human Services Office of Intellectual Disability (412-350-4457) for more information about the referral process and Title XIX financial eligibility. Our homes are located in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Criteria for Admission

The following criteria govern consideration for admission to Southwinds’ facilities:

  1. No individual shall be excluded from consideration for admission to any Southwinds facility solely on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, age, sex, ancestry, national origin or disability.
  2. All admissions are voluntary, must be accompanied by a signed consent for admission, and shall be governed by Section 402 of the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Act of 1966.
  3. Individuals must have a primary diagnosis of mental retardation.
  4. The determination of legal and financial competency/incompetency is seperate from selection for admission. No individual is required to be legally or financially incompetent for admission, and conversely, an admission does not imply legal or financial incompetence.
  5. Individuals must be independently ambulatory or ambulatory by means of a wheelchair, walker or other mechanical device.
  6. Individuals must be free from the need for extraordinary medical care (i.e., dialysis, respirator, etc.).
  7. Individuals must not be a current danger to self or others.

Southwinds, Inc. is considered to be a long term residential facility. There is no predetermined length of residence. Admission and continued residency are determined by the appropriateness of the placement based on the individual’s wants and needs. We recognize that quality may only be defined by the individuals we support, so we strive to design our services and supports in response to each individual’s need to realize their personal goals. Southwinds continuously anticipates the need to modify services as individuals grow and change, and continuously assures that individuals are able to maintain and exercise control over their life situations.

Admission Procedures

Individuals and/or their family members are encouraged to contact us or visit us in order to learn more about our services, however, Southwinds accepts referrals only through the Allegheny County Department of Human Services. Because Southwinds receives federal funding through the Title XIX program, individuals are required to meet certain financial eligibility criteria (for example, individuals must have less than $2,000 in resources).

Interested parties are advised to contact the Allegheny County Department of Human Services Office of Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities (412-350-4457) for more information about the referral process and Title XIX financial eligibility.

Southwinds staff attempt to match referred individuals with house vacancies based on the following criteria:

  • Individual’s housemate preference
  • Age
  • Personality
  • Ability of Southwinds to support the needs of the individual
  • Location of the home
  • The needs and desires of the individual’s family

Southwinds’ staff will personally evaluate each admission candidate by visiting the individual in his/her home or other convenient community location. Trial visits are encouraged prior to final admission so that the individual can get to know his/her potential housemates. Southwinds will provide necessary transitional supports for the individual, including attention to both physical and emotional needs. This may include arranging visits of increasing length to the individual’s new home or with the new housemates, assistance with packing and moving belongings, assistance with choosing decorations for the individual’s new bedroom, additional staff assigned one-on-one until the individual is comfortable in his/her new home, etc.


Program Fees

Any individual who meets the Title XIX eligibility criteria is automatically eligible to receive monthly Social Security Disability (SSD) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If the individual does not already receive these forms of government assistance, Southwinds staff will assure that the individual receives assistance in accessing and maintaining these financial benefits.

Southwinds charges each individual a monthly room and board fee of $478.44, as determined by the federal government. Individuals in the home share in the cost of cable television. Southwinds also requires that all individuals are provided with at least $45.00 in spending money each month for recreation and small personal needs.

If desired by the individual and/or the individual’s family, Southwinds will act as the individual’s representative payee and assist the individual in managing his/her finances. There is no additional charge for this service. Southwinds will provide the family with monthly information regarding the individuals resources if desired.


< Back