Independent Living Services

Helping individuals transition from living in a family or group home to living on their own.

The Bear Creek Independent Living Services Program (BCILS) provides the life skills training necessary and practices them in real-life settings.

  • Money management

  • Home maintenance

  • Safety

  • Personal grooming

  • Cleaning

  • Using public transportation
  • Medication Management

  • Budgeting

  • Community involvement

  • Cooking

  • Socialization skills

  • Grocery shopping

In-Home Support Program

People receive between 2 – 6 hours of assistance each week, as determined by the Olmsted County Community Services Department. The specifics of the program are based on each person’s individual needs.

Semi-Independent Living Skills Program (SILS)

In the SILS program, people live in their own home, or their family’s home. Each person will receive between 5-10 hours of assistance each week, as determined by the Olmsted County Social Services Department.

The goal of the SILS Program is to teach independent living skills. SILS is less time-intensive than the BCILS program, and individuals will learn new skills at their own pace.

In-Home Support Services

If you know of a person who is already living in a home of their own, but still needs some assistance, our in-home support services may be the support they need to lead more independent lives. The In-Home Support program is designed to provide varying levels of support that align with each person’s goals.

Contact Bear Creek Services today at (507) 288-7195 or to learn more about how we can help them thrive while living on their own.

Frequently Asked Questions

To enroll in BCILS, a case manager must contact the BCILS Program Director at or (507) 288-7195.  If the team believes BCILS would be a good fit, individuals are then placed on the waiting list.

People must be at least 18 years old to enroll in the program.

There is no set time limit.  The goal is not to get people to master the skills necessary for successful independent living.

We assess people’s independent living skills through observation in real-life settings. Skill sets are rated on a 4-point scale where 1 point means the person needs total assistance, and 4 points means the person can complete skills independently. People are be tested within the first 2 – 4 weeks, and periodically reassessed.

Staff members are present as each program participant’s personal plan indicates.  There is also an overnight staff who is available when needed.

Staff are there to assist, mentor, and teach BCILS program enrollee to do things as independently as possible. The goal is for each person to become self-reliant, though staff will help as needed.

Each person needs some form of income to pay rent and purchase items such as food, hygiene products and clothes that are necessary to meet their living needs.

Participants’ families are very much involved in the process, as they are an important part of the team that monitors the progress being made. Since family members have extensive first-hand knowledge of their loved one’s strengths and difficulties, we rely on the help from families to determine when individuals are ready to move onto the next step of the program.

Staff members who work at BCILS go through an intensive training process that includes first aid, CPR, medication administration, and principles of person-centered training.