“These adults face challenges every day that the rest of us take for granted.”– Kim Shufran, Executive Director, iCan House
Young adults with autism spectrum challenges are at risk for homelessness for a variety of reasons. Even with loving, supportive families these young men and women require help or face the prospect of no job, limited education and, as their parents age, no family. With the rapid increase of this condition and practically no housing to serve this population, homelessness is a real issue.
Due to a disorder that affects their social skills,communication and ability to adapt to some work and school settings, autism spectrum young adults face significant challenges:
- No federal or state programs provide supportive housing and there are no private programs in the Winston-Salem area
- Family support is common, but parents frequently cannot provide the housing, training and case management needed
- High school education or higher is possible, but is typically obtained much more slowly
- Job prospects are limited, due to lack of training and/or education
- Financial support is seldom available
- Stable, supportive housing is necessary due to on-going life skills management needs
- Lifeskills must be ingrained by early adulthood to successfully live independently
- Institutional type environments delay development due to the lack of exposure to normal life, work and community interactions
These young adults have great potential to live happy, productive lives. They just need
a different kind of help to get there.