Having a safe, comfortable place to call home is important to good quality of life for everyone. Unfortunately, only 7% of autistic American adults have access to the support to live outside of their family home. However, affected Mahoning Valley residents are one step closer to gaining that important independence this week.

Last week ASMV donated property to Dylan’s House, the Youngstown-based nonprofit created to promote independence for autistic individuals, upon which they plan to build the first of its 3-unit properties. Architectural renderings and floor plans of the planned 3-unit property soon will be available for viewing on their website.

“We are incredibly grateful for this community collaboration,” says Kevin Shope, director of Dylan’s House. “We were shopping for property to begin our efforts, so this donation couldn’t come at a better time. Founded in 2022 by Shope and his wife Amy, the 501c3 foundation is devoted to empowering and enriching the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorder from adolescence through adulthood by providing quality homes and support for caregivers.

The 2-acre lot was purchased by the Autism Society, originally known as Tri-County, in 1990 with the purpose of building an adult housing complex. Unfortunately, plans were waylayed the initiative was put on the shelf – until now.  

We are excited to see this land realize the dream of our founders and were very proud to have ASMV Founder Frank Aiello on hand for the celebration.

Autism is a spectrum full of varying levels of need; many adults will require the support of shared living to achieve their most independent life. This is a great step toward filling a great community need. 

More information is available at dylanshouse.org and on Dylan’s House on social platforms.