Adults with autism and their families received an early holiday gift from the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation who is helping to underwrite the nation’s only online network connecting adults with special needs and their families with stakeholders and growing an urgently needed shared knowledge base. The Autism Housing Network (AHN) is developed and operated by Madison House Autism Foundation, one of the few organizations in the country devoted to serving adults with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

Only 13% of citizens with IDD have supports to live outside of their family home and more than one million adults live at home with aging caregivers who are over the age of 60.  The Autism Housing Network helps explore emerging housing options, shares best practices in supportive housing, and helps launch locally based housing projects nationally.

“When children with autism turn 21 and age out of schools and services, they most likely will spend the majority of their adult life at home, isolated despite a desire for inclusion, unemployed despite often unique and valued talents, and very possibly homeless when parents die,” said Jalynn Prince, MHAF president. “Through the AHN, we’ve helped more than 200 caring and emerging communities serving thousands of adults and their families.  The Marriott Foundation has been instrumental in making this possible and we are excited about plans to continue to expand this unique online platform.”

The AHN was developed in response to a national study that cited lack of a shared database as a major barrier to addressing the lack of housing for this growing population. It is one of several national initiatives undertaken by MHAF to bring hope, help, and solutions to adults with autism and other special needs.

 

A special thank you to the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation from all of us on the Autism Housing Network team. Your support will help us expand our efforts to meet the demand we see growing everyday. Thank you.

 

ABOUT MADISON HOUSE AUTISM FOUNDATION

MHAF, a leading voice in housing for adults with autism, is working to address lifespan issues for those on the autism spectrum. Originally chartered as a private foundation in 2008, Madison House Autism Foundation is now in the five-year transition period required by the IRS to become a public charity.   Visit www.madisonhouseautism.org and www.madisonfields.org for more information.

About the Author

Desiree Kameka, Director of Housing

Desiree is the project lead for the Autism Housing Network. Her work for the Madison House Autism Foundation focuses on researching housing issues, advocating on issues of autism in adulthood, and presenting her work at local and national gatherings. She visits residential communities and social enterprises across the USA and highlights their unique victories and learning curves while sharing stories of individuals on the spectrum or who have other developmental disabilities. Her passion is empowering autistic adults and parents to create a future that is exciting and life affirming by offering small group consultations for forming projects.