Village Life – The Heart of Down Home Ranch

The Residency program is the heart of Down Home Ranch and the Village, where most Ranchers and staff live, is like an old-fashioned neighborhood. Ranchers are free to visit at will in one another’s homes, to invite friends in for an evening of movies or games, or to gather together for a community celebration, swim, baseball game or meal.

We’re a community of celebration! Birthdays and holidays are important occasions. Seasonal decorations reflect the traditions we all hold dear.

We’re a community of choice! Ranchers must want to live on the Ranch, not just move here because that’s what mom and dad want. They choose the activities in which they wish to participate, whether for recreation or vocational training or employment.

Our community enjoys excellent facilities, such as the gorgeous pool and fitness center, available for all to pursue “healthy habits” and recreation. We have ponds for kayaking and fishing, and miles of hiking trails for enjoying nature.

“Down” is in our name. We specialize in meeting the unique needs of those with Down syndrome but work equally hard to meet the needs of all.

Criteria for Residency

Residency at Down Home Ranch is open to persons who:

  • Are at least age 18 and older and finished with high school
  • Desire to live on a genuine working Texas ranch
  • Do not pose a danger to themselves or others
  • Are able to benefit from the residential, social, educational, and vocational programs offered by Down Home Ranch
  • Are capable of maintaining behavior which does not disrupt the peaceful life of the community
  • Wish to live in close proximity to friends and co-workers on the Ranch

Residency is open to applicants meeting the above criteria regardless of socioeconomic level, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or national origin.

Residency Options at Down Home Ranch

The Village is home to Ranchers and resident staff, founders Jerry and Judy Horton, several happy dogs, and one friendly cat. Housing consists of:

Intermediate Care Facility (ICF-Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities) Group Homes

ICF-IDD is a federal/state program supported by tax dollars.  There is no waiting list for ICF-IDD; potential residents must simply be out of high school and have a determination of intellectual disability granted before the age of 18 to participate.

Four Intermediate Care Facility (ICF-IDD)/Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities homes.

  • Six-person capacity plus live-in staff
  • Large individual, private bedrooms, decorated to personal taste
  • Private or semi-private bathroom
  • Single-sex and coed houses
  • Fees paid by federal and state tax dollars
  • Potential Ranchers must be eligible for Medicaid and have a determination of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) to qualify
  • No current openings

HOME AND COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICES (HCS) GROUP HOMES

Home and Community-Based Service (HCS) is a “waiver” program for which there exists a 10-12 year waiting list.  Many people feel it is preferable to ICF-IDD but it actually is more restrictive and covers fewer expenses than ICF-IDD.  For example, one rule of the HCS program excludes ranchers from living at the ranch; instead they must live in “typical” neighborhoods in the nearby towns and be transported to the ranch for programs.

DHR operates two HCS group homes in Elgin, Texas, one for men and one for women, located 16 miles from the 410 acre ranch. Residents come to the ranch daily for employment, training, recreation and other services and activities.

  • Three-person capacity plus live-in staff
  • Large individual, private bedrooms, decorated to personal taste
  • Private or semi-private bathroom
  • One home for women, one for men
  • Fees paid by federal and state tax dollars
  • Potential Ranchers must be eligible for Medicaid and have a determination of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) to qualify
  • At capacity with no plans to expand

Fee-Based Residential Options

Gabriel House
  • Five-person capacity plus live-in staff
  • Large individual, private bedrooms, decorated to personal taste
  • Private or semi-private bathroom
  • Men only
  • Private-Pay $3,500 per month each
  • Taking applications for current openings
Supported Independent Living (SIL)

In addition to meeting the general Criteria for Residency, candidates for Supported Independent Living must demonstrate a high degree of personal responsibility:

Able to manage without direct assistance:

  • Grooming and personal hygiene
  • Prepare breakfast and clean up afterwards
  • Report to work on time
  • Take care of personal needs such as kitchen chores, light housework, and laundry with minimal help
  • Get along with housemate (for two-person households)

Able to manage with assistance:

  • Plan menus and shopping
  • Maintain home and yard
  • Prepare simple meals
Sarah House & Timothy House
  • Capacity: 2 each
  • 2-bedroom 2-bath suites
  • Large private individual, bedrooms, decorated to personal taste
  • Common living/kitchen/dining area
  • Single-sex, married couple, or life partners
  • Private-Pay $3,500 per month each
  • One current opening
Micro-Homes
  • Capacity: 1 each
  • 1-bedroom, 1-bath
  • Kitchen/living area
  • Front porch
  • No current openings

The Resident Assistant for Supported Independent Living works with all Ranchers in Supported Independent Living, living in close proximity in the Village.

Application for Residency

When a vacancy occurs, the interest list is consulted to find potential matches for the living situation and residential option available. Ranchers living in a home play an important role in selecting the new community member.

It is vital that every Rancher 1) to be able to benefit from life in the Down Home Ranch community, and 2) to be able and willing to contribute to the community in the setting currently available.

Those interested in residency should download and complete the Residency Interest List Form, consider joining our email list, visit our website often and check out the Down Home Ranch Facebook Page for News and Upcoming Events.

Residency Interest Process

  1. Download and complete the Residency Interest List Form — this is an electronic “fillable” PDF form. If needed, download the latest version of Adobe Reader here.
  2. Immediately save the file to your computer with the first and last name of the prospective Rancher (e.g., John-Doe-Interest-List.pdf).
  3. Complete the form by typing your answers into the fields provided, saving the file frequently as you complete the form.
  4. When the application is complete, save the completed file.
  5. Email the completed form as an attachment to [email protected] Please include “Residency Interest List” in the Subject line of your email, along with the name of the prospective Rancher.
  6. If a vacancy is anticipated, Residency Interest List Forms will be reviewed by a member of our staff and families will be contacted if their applicant appears to be a good match