GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A local nonprofit that helps people find a place to belong is expanding.
Benjamin’s Hope, a farmstead community in Holland, works with individuals of all intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“Benjamin’s Hope here in Holland, Michigan, is inspired by my son Ben, who’s 28 years old,” Krista Mason, the group’s executive director, said. “Ben is quite profoundly affected by autism, and Benjamin’s Hope is really inspired by his life and dreaming of a place where he as an adult would thrive.”
Mason told News 8 that Benjamin’s Hope uses a “Live, Learn, Play, Worship” model. Some people live there full time, while others attend on a part-time basis. She said the organization offers programming during the week for those who are post-school age.
“I think one of the most important things that Ben’s Hope offers is that place of belonging, where you can be known and have a community of people,” Mason said.
With its six farmstead homes, Benjamin’s Hope helps fill a gap, she said.
“One of the greater needs that we’re aware of in our community is really around housing for adults with autism and other disabilities,” Mason said. “Every single week, we get between five and 15 phone calls from families and individuals who are looking for residential services.”
She told News 8 that organizers are currently fundraising to build two more farmstead homes.
“This will create the opportunity for 12 more adults to be part of our Ben’s Hope community,” Mason said.
If you’d like to learn more about Benjamin’s Hope, you can visit its website.