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Chapel Haven Schleifer Center is proud to be featured in a new study, A Place in the World: Fueling Housing and Community Options for Adults with Autism and Other Neurodiversities.

The report is the work of First Place® AZ and Autism Housing Network and offers the universal language for a guiding narrative to research, develop and achieve supportive housing solutions. 

Click here to see the report: A Place in the World Report, 2020

The groundbreaking 2020 report includes more than 150 terms to help guide people to better understand housing preferences, accessibility needs, supportive amenities, service delivery models and more. It aims to clearly define nomenclature and market segments for the benefit and application of all sectors; establish best practices and guiding principles; and drive crucial partnerships and policy decisions that address pressing needs compounded by the current housing crisis.

Chapel Haven Schleifer Center and its Tucson, AZ campus, Chapel Haven West, are featured on pages 94-95.

Michael Storz, President of Chapel Haven Schleifer Center, serves on the Leadership Advisory Board and said he is honored that Chapel Haven Schleifer Center is featured in the report.  “The statistics are truly staggering,” Storz said. “When you consider that 50,000 young people with autism are graduating high school every year, it’s clear that families and young adults need a variety of long-term housing options as they embark on their adult transition. Chapel Haven has been a program of choice for nearly 50 years and we are proud to be listed in the constellation of services and programs around the country that promote excellence in adult independence.”

Informed by a cross section of pioneering leaders with expertise in real estate, community development and public policy from within and outside of the disability community, A Place in the World targets the housing industry, scholars, direct service providers, policymakers, researchers, residents and other stakeholders.

“A Place in the World will be the go-to source for developing and expanding housing and community solutions for neurodiverse populations in communities everywhere,” says report co-author Denise D. Resnik, First Place AZ founder, president and CEO, and mother of an adult son with autism. “The report was designed to raise the bar on a new generation of options so that individuals with different abilities and their families recognize that a diagnosis need not stand in the way of friends, jobs, supportive communities—and homes of their own.”

Named for the 2016 PBS NewsHour series featuring Greater Phoenix as “the most autism-friendly city in the world,” A Place in the World is the sister study to the groundbreaking 2009 report, Opening Doors: A Discussion of Residential Options for Adults Living with Autism and Related Disorders, the first-ever study to focus on the housing challenges of adults with autism and other neurodiversities. Opening Doors resulted in the founding of First Place AZ, a real estate and community developer, and the Autism Housing Network, an online platform bringing together the best ideas and resources in housing for adults with autism and others with I/DD.

A Place in the World is a unique collaboration among a wide array of partners from the private, nonprofit, philanthropic and public sectors that includes Arizona State University Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions and its Morrison Institute for Public Policy, the First Place Global Leadership Institute and its Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Center for Public Policy, Autism Housing Network, and pioneering leaders from across the U.S. and around the globe.

The report uses descriptive language defining features, amenities, locations, price points and economic realities in straightforward terms for consumers, developers, providers and funders. By aligning housing, long-term support services and community supports expressed in precise terms for the benefit of those poised to deliver, the report can more effectively fuel a dynamic marketplace of options.

“We have united to take a critical step toward fueling a marketplace of options while recognizing the historic disconnect among prospective residents and their families, service providers, housing developers and policy officials struggling to address demand based on vastly different experiences and points of reference,” says Desiree Kameka Galloway, co-author of the report and director of Autism Housing Network.
Sponsors of the report include UnitedHealthcare Community Plan, Phoenix IDA and the Arizona Community Foundation, organizations that recognize the value of housing as a major social determinant of health and the need for a common language to inform, improve and launch a marketplace of innovative housing solutions.

About Chapel Haven Schleifer Center: Founded nearly 50 years ago in a house on Chapel Street, New Haven, CT, Chapel Haven Schleifer Center is an award-winning nonprofit devoted to helping adults with social and developmental disabilities achieve independence. The agency occupies a flourishing founding campus in the Westville section of New Haven that recently underwent a $45 million expansion, and a satellite campus in Tucson, AZ called Chapel Haven West. Read more at

About First Place® AZ
First Place AZ, a charitable nonprofit organization advancing innovative residential options for adults with autism and other special abilities, celebrates neuro-diversity, independent living and the belief that housing options for people with autism and other special abilities should be as bountiful as they are for everyone else. First Place is creating replicable residential and post-secondary education models that promote collaboration among the public, private, philanthropic and nonprofit sectors, serving as a catalyst for advancing public policy focused on housing solutions for special populations. First Place–Phoenix, the nonprofit’s first new property, opened in 2018.