A group home is a private residence designed or converted to serve as a non-secure home for unrelated persons who share a common characteristic. In the United States, the term most often refers to homes designed for those in need of social assistance, and who are usually deemed incapable of living alone or without proper supervision. Prior to the 1970s, this function was served by institutions, asylums, poorhouses, and orphanages.
People who live in such a group home may be developmentally disabled, recovering from alcohol or drug addiction, abused or neglected youths, youths with behavioral or emotional problems, and/or youths with criminal records. A group home differs from a halfway house in that it is not restricted to recovering addicts or convicted criminals, and also in that residents usually are encouraged or required to take an active role in the maintenance of the household, such as by performing chores or helping to manage a budget. In most countries, people can still vote and attend university while in a group home.
There are typically from 3 to 16 residents, as well as a resident manager or service staff. Residents may have their own room or share rooms, and share facilities such as laundry, bathroom, kitchen and common living areas. The opening of group homes in neighborhoods is occasionally opposed by residents, who fear that it will lead to a rise in crime and/or a drop in property values.