Construction Underway on Dennis Home for Adults with Autism

DENNIS – Officials with Friends Or Relatives With Autism & Related Disabilities are excited to have construction underway on a new home for adults with autism in Dennis.

A groundbreaking was held two weeks ago for FORWARD at the Rock, a duplex on Hokum Rock Road which will provide housing for eight individuals.

“We are eager to see the construction make progress and look at what else we will be doing with FORWARD in the future,” said Kathy Ohman, the president of FORWARD.

The project has been in development for five years and a 99-year lease was signed last month.

“Five years seems like a long time, but it all began with the town of Dennis and their very generous donation of nearly five acres of land,” Ohman said.

The project was awarded $500,000 in CPA funding from Dennis in 2015 and a $1 million state grant last summer.

It also received CPA funds from Barnsatble, Yarmouth and Chatham. Private donations have brought total fundraising over $2 million.

“We hope it is a good model for future buildings for adults with developmental disabilities,” Ohman said.

FORWARD has also received support from the Housing Assistance Corporation with developing plans and working with state officials.

The organization is also partnering with Cape Abilities to provide services for the individuals who will be living in the home.

“FORWARD came together with the encouragement and support of the town and Housing Assistance Corporation and Cape Abilities because we saw a need for more housing,” Ohman said.

Ohman said many adults with developmental delays continue to live at home with their parents throughout their adulthood with little or no plan for what happens when their parents are too old to take care of them.

“This housing will provide a self, secure environment where people are living with their peers and living their best life at FORWARD,” she said.

Each home will house four adults. Residents will have their own bedrooms with shared bathroom, kitchen and living area.

The two homes will be joined by a breezeway and deck.

The duplex is expected to be completed and move in ready sometime in spring of 2020.

About Brian Merchant

Brian Merchant grew up in Central Massachusetts and now lives in South Dennis on the Cape. He has been part of the news team in the NewsCenter since the spring of 2014. He studied radio broadcasting at the University of Tennessee.
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