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MY HOUSE Autism Group Home

Descriptive Narrative:

This project is a series of transitional zero equity cooperative housing models for individuals on the autism spectrum who need 24/7, daily, and weekly support. These models are meant to be used together to create a series of successive approximations whose end goal is independence for the residents.


Support:

This model provides two types of support which can be tailored to the needs of the individual.

The first type of support would be provided by parents, family members and/ or close friends for school work, life skills and help in the decision making process of managing the cooperative. Training would be needed for those giving support.

The second type of support would be provided by a trained staff. The number and type of staff would depend on the needs of the individual residents and on the requirements for operating a group home in the state where it is located. Legal advice would also be required in setting up the cooperative.

The advantages of this system include:

Reducing the financial burden of running the home

Not necessitate a family member quitting work or going on part time employment

Reduce the emotional and psychological stress from constant monitoring

Ease the transition of moving from home for both the residents and their families

Reduce concerns of possible abuse and neglect

Create a sense of identity and independence for the residents

Foster creation of a non-related extended family

Provide opportunities to learn social skills in a goal oriented and non-threatening environment


Location:

Typically zoning does not allow for more than 4 unrelated people to live together in a single family residential area. Although there are many benefits to living in these neighborhoods, there are benefits to living in other zones as well.

Multi-family residential zones have the following advantages:

More access to public transit

Closer to commercial areas and possible employment

Closer to restaurants, shops, cultural, and sports venues


24/7 Support Model

Form and Spatial Narrative:

The intent of the design is to create a low stress environment for the residents by designing the building as an abstraction of the neurophysiology of someone with autism. The organization of the spaces and the placement of the doors, windows, furniture, and plumbing fixtures is discrete, linear, and literal. The building is a group home for 8 residents.


Goal:

​The goal is to have each resident transition into a daily support program.

Design: The building is designed as a low stress environment for living and learning.

It is composed of the following features:

The overall layout provides a walking loop for the residents.

The placement of the windows allows for visual monitoring from a distance over most of the building.

The building is constructed of concrete masonry units to reduce off gassing from volatile organic compounds.

The CMU walls are filled with sand to reduce sound transmission.

A solid color is used on walls, floors, and ceilings to reduce visual stimulation.

Sliding doors, silent hardware are used to reduce sound triggers.

Lighting, heating, and AC have individual controls to give each resident control over their environment.

A wall around the site provides for:

Safety

Privacy

Reduction of sound transmission and visual stimulation

Opportunities for solitude and/or social interaction are provided by:

Enclosed small gardens between each bedroom/bath

Large enclosed gardens at each end of the building

2 kitchen/dining areas

2 learning centers

A large multi-purpose room

Living rooms on each side and at each end of the building

Two interior courtyards

Education:

A transitional model partly functions to expand employment possibilities/interests and to find what opportunities might exist for meeting these needs. This model combines home schooling with trained educators.

Donated or refurbished computers can provide:

Self-paced learning of online college courses and degrees

Vocational training and certification

Instruction for hobbies/interests


The following calculations outline a possible support scenario for 8 residents:

This model uses the concept of extended family support in addition to support from a trained staff. The calculations below refer only to the support from the residents’ families. It is assumed that there are 2 parent families

Each family would give 10 hours (5 hours from each parent) of support one day a week (40 hours a month)

(8 families)(40 hours)=320 hours total support a month.

Residents would have 10 hours of support every day of the week and 20 hours of support 1 day a week.

Housing Option:

This option uses the existing stock of commercial buildings. The supply of these buildings is large, varied, nationwide, and is located relatively close to where they are

needed. A single building that is a shell structure would be the easiest and most cost effective building for adaptive reuse for a group home.


Daily and Weekly Support Models:

These models use the existing stock of apartment buildings. The supply of these buildings is large, varied, nationwide, and is located relatively close to where it is needed.

The following are 4 examples of existing properties from around the USA:

10 Units

$395,000 = $39,500 per share

7926 S Kingston Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60617

Population 2,700,000

Bus stop on 79th & Colfax located on the next block

9 Units

$237,000 = $26,334 per Share

1101 W Maxwell Spokane,

Washington 99201 Population 210,000

Property located on the W Maxwell Bus Route

2 units

$395,000 = $32,916 per Share

25-27 Wethersfield Avenue

Hartford, Connecticut 06114 Population 125,000

Property located on the Wethersfield Bus Route

12 Units

$550,000 = $45,843 per Share

823 E Marion Shelby, North Carolina 28150 Population 20,000

Property is located on Bus Route 74


Support Option:

Skype could be an alternative to being physically present on the property.

Housing Option:

A motel could be converted into apartments or as an extended stay motel. Rooms could be combined with a connecting door and kitchen units could be added. Washers and dryers can be added to the existing laundry room.


Daily Support Model:

Goal:

The goal is to have each resident transition into a weekly support program.


The following calculations outline a possible support scenario for 10 residents:

​The calculations below refer only to the support from the residents’ families. It is assumed that there are 2 parent families.

Each family would give support for 10 hours (5 hours from each parent) 3 times a month= 30 hours of support a month.

(10 families)(30 hours)=300 hours total support a month.

Residents would have 10 hours of support every day.


Weekly Support Model:

Goal:

The goal is to have each resident transition into developing an ability to create their own support network of friends, peers and, co-workers.


The following calculations outline a possible support scenario for 12 residents:

The calculations below refer only to the support from the residents’ families. It is assumed that there are 2 parent families.

Each family would give 12 hours (6 hours from each parent) support one day a month.

(12 families)(12 hours)=144 hours total support a month.

Residents would have 12 hours of support 3 times a week.

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