May Completion Expected for Dennis Home for Adults with Autism

Courtesy of FORWARD

DENNIS – Construction of a new home for adults with autism in Dennis is nearing completion.

Friends Or Relatives With Autism & Related Disabilities, or FORWARD, said installation of interior doors, trim and tile recently got underway, along with the exterior installation of a driveway guardrail, parking area lighting and a backup generator.

FORWARD at the Rock, a duplex on Hokum Rock Road, will provide housing for eight individuals with autism 22 years of age or older.

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.

“It’s basically enabling adults with autism regionally here on Cape Cod to live in a safe environment independently,” said Chris Flanagan, the chair of the Dennis Board of Selectmen.

The project has been in development for several years and a 99-year lease with the town was signed last summer.

Flanagan said the town is proud of its contribution to the region.

“I think it gives people a lot of hope that we are paying attention and we are building these homes for a population that needs housing,” Flanagan said.

The project was awarded $500,000 in CPA funding from Dennis in 2015 and a $1 million state grant in 2018.

It also received CPA funds from Barnsatble, Yarmouth and Chatham. Private donations have brought total fundraising over $2.5 million.

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

“We are also very happy that other municipalities have contributed towards this project which really underscores the importance of it being a regional project,” Flanagan said.

Flanagan said he has had parents with autistic children reach out to him.

“They say, ‘this is really great and it gives me a lot of hope that my son or daughter can live in a safe environment independently,’” he said.

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

Completion of FORWARD at the Rock is scheduled for early May.

Landscaping, driveway paving and other exterior items should be finished in June or July pending additional fundraising.

To make a donation to the project, visit

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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