A Housing Community For The Developmentally Disabled
forwars banner 1.png


Advocating for creative communities and affordable housing since 2014

Friends Or Relatives With Autism And Related Disabilities (FORWARD) first came together in 2013 when a small group of compassionate, concerned citizens banded together and armed for change. Since that day, this 501(c)3 organization has been diligently focused on creating a small scale, non-private sector, affordable model housing community for adults with autism - while tirelessly advocating to increase awareness of the nation's affordable housing crisis and the ongoing struggle facing adults with autism spectrum disorders across the United States.

The term autism spectrum disorders (ASD's) refers to a group of developmental disorders that are usually first diagnosed in early childhood and include: autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger's Syndrome. It also includes two rare disorders - Rhett's disorder and childhood disintegrative disorder.

Within the next 15 years, more than 500,000 Americans with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) will enter adulthood, based on the rising incidence of the disorder. Conservative projections indicate nearly 400,000. Either way, the numbers are staggering.

Today, many adults with autism are being cared for by aging parents, who, in most cases, will not outlive their children, leaving them limited options for lifelong support. This growing new subset of the developmentally disabled population - too old for continued support through the special education services of a public school system and
too fragile to live without support in the larger world - and their families face a complicated system of vocational rehabilitation services, Medicaid, disconnected government agencies, and a lack of appropriate residential care options beyond the obvious ones of keeping them at home or within institutional settings.

“The impact that millions of children and young adults with ASD who are transitioning into adulthood cannot be overstated. The dramatic increase in the population of individuals with autism gives rise to serious concern among families, service providers, government officials, and the community at-large that residential services for post-school aged adults with autism must be created as an integral part of a health community’s housing plan and opportunities.’
— OPENING DOORS: A Discussion of Residential Options for Adults Living with Autism and Related Disorders

We can more effectively support adults living with autism and provide families with the peace of mind they are searching for by advancing housing solutions in demand today.




PO BOX 1174
South Dennis, MA 02660


(508) 385-HOME(4663)

Our Goal is 2.2 Million Dollars. Here is our progress so far!

FORWARD Thermometer as of May 15, 2018.jpg


Why We Are Here

Acknowledging the problem

Upwards of 70% of the entire population of adults with autism live 'at home' with aging parents/caretakers and few supports. What was a severe shortage of affordable housing has now reached crisis for this underserved population.

action needed

While new housing development will be critical to resolution of the projected critical demand, the existing population of adults with autism need solutions now.  

The crisis is now

It is estimated that within the next decade, upwards of 500,00 children diagnosed with autism will reach adulthood and 'age-out' of supportive services.                                         

The Plan

FORWARD, working closely with the local Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC), the Town of Dennis, and Cape Abilities, has created a plan for a unique housing development.

doing Our Part

How do we as a society respond to the housing and quality of life crisis that now affects adults with autism nationwide?  By advocating for change. That's where we come in.               

our strategy

To increase access to non-private sector, affordable housing by, firstly, developing a small-scale, affordable and progressive housing community that will act as a highly successful model for future projects.


The potential crisis in housing and services for this population is an issue not only for families and local communities, but for society as a whole
— Joe Blackbourn, SARCC Board Member, former ULI Arizona Chairman