Individuals suffering from medical or emotional challenges can find a safe and secure place in community group homes. Group homes can help people socialize and get familiar with other people. There are several types of group homes. There are homes for children or teens, the elderly, individuals with disabilities or those who need supervision and care on a daily basis. If you plan to open a group home in Texas, you will need to get a license from the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services.
Register the type of group home based on the type of people you wish to help in your community. You can analyze the types of group homes in your community and come up with an unmet need or inquire with local charitable organizations regarding the necessary services for groups in your community. For example, Austin only has a handful of group homes because the median age for the city is 30 years of age and the 65 or over population is only 6.7 percent, according to the U.S. Census. Houston, however, has a larger elderly population and a 37.4 percent Hispanic population. In Houston, a group home catering to Hispanics may be appropriate.
Write a business plan that summarizes your vision, mission, business goals, startup and operating costs, marketing plan and expenses, financial projections and competitor analysis. According to the U.S. Census, the percentage of people aged 65 or older in Texas in 2009 was 10.2 percent. This was lower than the national average of 12.9 percent. If this is your target market, research the percentage of seniors in your Texas city through census.gov, and detail in your business plan how you propose to reach them.
Buy, rent or lease a home or facility that is sufficient to house the number of people based on your estimation and budgeted services. You will need to take care of their food and shelter along with personal care and assistance with the administration of their medication, if appropriate. Most cities in Texas are spread out horizontally and require a lot of driving. Obtain a location within or near a residential area to minimize the amount of driving your target market will have to do.
Comply with the local fire building codes and zoning regulations. In Texas, local counties administer these types of permits to businesses and other entities. Obtain proper building permits from your local fire department and health department. Inquire with your local county courthouse for specific permits regarding a group home.
Contact the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) and Texas attorney general’s office. Let them inspect your facility. DADS expects to observe a resident who is under your care for on-site health inspection. The facility must meet the standards for accreditation based on an on-site accreditation survey.
Obtain the license to open the group home in Texas from DADS. You may need to complete an Intermediate Care Facility for Mental Retardation (ICF/MR) program or graduate from a state school program to obtain the license for operating a group home. Complete the program and obtain your license.
Register your business legal structure and business name with the Texas Secretary of State. Obtain a business license from Texas as well. Check with the city and county governments to obtain the necessary permits and licenses. You can get business licenses from your local courthouse, and the cost in Texas is usually less than $50 depending on the type of license (as of September 2010).
Obtain general liability insurance and business insurance that has sufficient coverage for your people and equipment. Texasliability.com and Texas Insurance Group (TIG) both specialize in liability insurance for health care professionals. You can contact TIG at 817-268-1680 or through their website at tig.com.
Hire employees who have a clean criminal background and a driver’s license. Obtain workers compensation insurance. Contact the Texas Division of Insurance, Worker's Compensation Office at 512-804-4000 for application forms.
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