How Bridges MN Helps Caregivers and Disabled Individuals Become “Rumis”
If you’re one of the 600,000 people in Minnesota living with a disability, it can be difficult to find a place to live. Although there might be a spot available in a group home, it may not have the services you need or be in the city that you want. Bridges MN, a St. Paul-based organization that manages many of these properties, hopes to help those with disabilities find their best possible living situation with Rumi, an initiative that matches individuals who have a disability waiver with a compatible, licensed caregiver and roommate.“We want to provide custom care for individuals who have historically been deemed too challenging or too complex for traditional group homes,” said Bridges Principal Partner Bach Parker. “And it’s possible. The industry has a big opportunity to be disrupted.” The idea of a customized living situation with a dedicated caregiver was immediately popular within Bridges’ community, Parker told Minne Inno. In the year since Rumi’s launch, the platform has made 14 roommate matches and has grown to 500 users. Rumi is a lot like a dating app, but with uniquely-designed care, customization and security. Those interested in becoming “Rumis” start by completing a profile on the website. The Bridges team then examines the profile, confirming the applicant’s identity and running a background check. If approved, the profile will then appear on the site. Potential Rumis can then look at each other’s information. If a user spots someone they think seems like a great match, they can “wave” at the other profile, indicating that they’re interested in starting a conversation. If the other person waves back, the two can start chatting.