This is an increasingly important issue. The Planning Department has been working with a local group that is seeking a location for such a community in Dennis. In the coming months we expect to identify a property on which to propose the beginning of a community housing project to serve autistic adults. The concept that we have been discussing includes both independent living arrangements as well as living space for residents who may need higher levels of assistance.
The needs of autistic adults are nearing a critical stage, very similar to those of adults with Down’s Syndrome and other limiting disabilities. The situation is, we have adults living in their aging parents homes. As the parents age there is the recognition that these adults will soon need different living arrangements. As these adults are at varying levels of abilities, the community housing project needs to consider the broad spectrum of living arrangements. The starting scheme being discussed is a multi-structure facility with a grouping of 2 to 3 bedroom homes for the more independent residents and a larger home, similar to a sprawling New England farmhouse, which would serve as housing for those in need of higher levels of assistance, a community education center and communal kitchen. Ideally, the site might also provide opportunities for other therapeutic activities such as an animal barn.
We hope to garner town support for this project as we move forward.