Madison House is one of the few – if not the only – organization in the country that is focused on addressing quality of life issues for adults with autism and their families.
It was formally chartered in 2008 following five years of research invested by its founders on areas of greatest unmet need impacting people with autism and their families. Originally chartered as a private foundation, it is now in the five-year transition period required by the IRS to become a public foundation. During this period, all gifts are tax-deductible.
Madison House’s larger vision encompasses the many factors that are essential to creating a better future and basic quality of life for adults with autism. Currently, Madison House focuses especially on housing because it is the point of greatest desperation for many adults and their parents. As one grandfather put it, “I’m 95 years old, but I’m not going anywhere until my grandson gets into a group home. Please, can you tell me where to turn?”
On a national level we carry out the following six major programs:
- Empowering Communities: We have built unique expertise and offer free workshops to families and groups across the country on how they can jumpstart their own housing projects.
- Autism Housing Network: We have built the only online platform and virtual forum to connect people with autism with providers. And it connects project starters with those who have launched successful projects, sharing best practices and lessons learned.
- Roundtables: We sponsor roundtables of experts to share ideas, discuss barriers, and identify opportunities to expand housing and services for adults with autism.
- National Coalition: We created the first coalition of organizations across the country to unite voices to support proactive legislation and prevent unintended consequences of poorly conceived policy. The Coalition for Community Choice in housing now has more than 125 member organizations in 26 states. Its work has changed legislation, raised awareness, resulted in lengthy articles in national news outlets, and created a network of people and organizations that can build on shared momentum.
- Research: We have developed formal relationships with some of the leading universities across the country to collaborate on research and the advancement of programs and services.
- MedConnect: We work with the medical community to explore training, presentations, and tool kits to help physicians diagnose and treat their adult patients who are on the spectrum.
Locally, Madison House is developing an agrihood, and replicable social enterprise on a 400-acre farm, 30 miles north of Washington DC. Madison Fields will include housing, education, riding, and employment opportunities for neurotypical populations, adults with autism and other I/DDs, and groups such as wounded veterans who can use the farm for specialized programs, volunteer in support of I/DD adults, or share in benefitting from existing employment and service programs at Madison Fields.
Budget: MHAF and Madison Fields run national programs and a 400-acre local enterprise on a budget of less than $1.2 million a year.
Madison Fields can become a national prototype, directly meeting the needs of adults with disabilities, veterans, and residents wishing to reconnect with and help preserve our rural treasures. More importantly, it is a model that can be replicated in communities across the country through the national Madison House Autism Foundation, with blueprints, business plans, and budgets that are available to be freely shared. With the help of a few visionary leaders, this project can build a better future for millions.
Here are a few ways to help:
Make a donation. Every dollar helps build better futures for adults with autism and their families across the country.
Become a corporate sponsor, joining Marriott (see video below), American Airlines, and others lending cash, services, and employee involvement. Corporate sponsors of $100,000 annually can be linked with the MHAF website and/or its additional three affiliated sites (Autism Housing Network, Coalition for Community Choice, and Madison Fields).
Underwrite or endow a specific program (housing, national outreach, advocacy, the empowering communities initiative, roundtables, or Madison Fields and one or more of its many programs.
Designate a product or portion of sales toward MHAF.
Donate an experience or unique talent or item to be auctioned online through CharityBuzz.com