Autism Life and Living Dedicated to Alleviating Housing Insecurity
By Jenna-Lee Neff -
Wednesday Mar 23, 2022
World Autism Month kicks off April 1, and one Valley nonprofit is raising awareness about the housing insecurity many individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis will face in their adult years and working to ensure that they will always have a place to call home.
Lisa Masters, founder and chief executive officer of the start-up nonprofit organization Autism Life and Living, Inc. (ALL), established the organization after researching housing options in Arizona for her two young adult sons with ASD.
â€œI was looking for safe, affordable independent living options for my sons,â€ Masters says. â€œWhen I realized there werenâ€™t any, the uncertainty of what will happen after Iâ€™m gone became all consuming.â€
Masters says her own concerns along with the growing housing crisis and ASD related statistics prompted her to act.
â€œI couldnâ€™t sit and wait for our government to take action,â€ she says. â€œI had to do something.â€
In 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that an estimated 2.21 percent of the adult population in the United States has ASD.
There are approximately 7.3 million individuals in the United States with an ASD or intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) diagnosis and roughly 6.14 million of them do not receive publicly funded residential supports. Many of them live with aging or ailing parents, while others have become homeless without vital social safety nets.
Founded in 2021, ALL continues to build their community resources and programs to better serve adults throughout the Valley with ASD or IDDs. The current support services program acts as a liaison between clients over the age of 18 and community organizations that can help while the social circle program coordinates monthly social outings.