New Autism Friendly Housing Program in Rochester

Local News

The Flower City Habitat for Humanity and the Autism Council of Rochester are teaming up to bring autism-friendly homes for those who have children with the disability.

Leslie Ripton has four children, and one of them has autism. She’s currently living in a two bedroom apartment, not the best living space for an autistic child. But thanks to a new Rochester housing program, she’ll now have a home to call her own. 

“Where we are now, he is unable to have his compression swing. That helps with behavioral wise calm him down it gives him what he needs. In this house, we will be able to have that,” said Ripton. “It’s going to help so much. Behavioral wise and in every aspect.”

Leslie is jumping in the building process of her new home.

“It’s a lot of hard work. I got to help with the drywall in the first bedroom. So that was pretty cool,” said Ripton. 

The program will not only put families on a pathway to homeownership but will include modifications to meet the needs of autistic children. It’ll provide sound and light sensitivity and a six to eight-foot stockade fence in the backyard to reassure parents the children won’t wander off to the streets.

“Having your own home and having this space and having a backyard, just brings more peace and comfort for the families that have a child with autism,” said Lawana Jones, founder & executive director of the Autism Council.  

“Owning my own house, we’re going to do well. This is going to be fun,” said Ripton. 

Habitat for Humanity said this new housing program continues its mission to meet the needs of the community they serve and is part of their neighborhood revitalization project. 

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