According to a report from the National Alliance to End Homelessness, people with autism are more likely to experience homelessness than people without autism. The report found that people with autism are three times more likely to experience homelessness than people without autism.
There are a number of reasons why people with autism may be more likely to experience homelessness. One reason is that people with autism often have difficulty holding a job. This can make it difficult to earn enough money to afford housing. Another reason is that people with autism may have difficulty communicating and interacting with others. This can make it difficult to find and keep a job. Additionally, people with autism may have difficulty with executive functioning skills. This can make it difficult to manage money and keep track of bills.
People with autism who are homeless often face unique challenges. For example, they may have difficulty finding shelters that accept people with autism. Additionally, they may have difficulty accessing services that can help them get back on their feet.
For families with children on the autism spectrum, finding affordable, safe, and appropriate housing can be a challenge. There are a number of programs and resources available to help families with autistic children find housing, but the process can still be difficult.
The first step is to contact your local public housing authority. Families with children with disabilities are given priority for public housing assistance. You can also look into Section 8 housing, which is a government-funded program that provides housing assistance to low-income families.
Section 8 is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program that provides rental assistance to eligible low-income households. HUD pays a portion of the rent directly to the landlord on behalf of the household, and the household is responsible for paying the remainder of the rent. The Section 8 program is the largest federal rental assistance program, providing assistance to more than 2 million households as of 2019. The program is administered by HUD, and households must meet certain income and eligibility requirements to qualify for assistance.
Income limits for the Section 8 program are set at 80% of the median income for the area in which the household resides. Eligible households must also meet other criteria, such as being U.S. citizens or legal residents, and not have an income that exceeds 50% of the median income for the area. Once a household is determined to be eligible for the program, they will be placed on a waiting list. Due to high demand for assistance, waiting lists for the program can be very long, and households may wait months or even years to receive assistance.
Unfortunately, the demand for Section 8 assistance far exceeds the supply. In most areas, there are many more people on the waiting list than there are vouchers available.
The Section 8 program has been criticized for its long waiting lists, as well as for its lack of funding. In recent years, Congress has proposed increased funding.
For those with autism and other substantial disabilities gaining employment while in the section 8 program can present special barriers. Since the waiting list is so long, getting a job may likely result in being removed from the program. Since disability presents barriers to sustaining employment, this presents known risks to achieving the dignity of self-sufficiency while experiencing the safety and quality of life of a home to stay in.