MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – One hundred percent of donations for WCCO’s Pulling Together go directly to Fraser, Minnesota’s largest organization helping people with autism and mental health.
Fraser is primarily known for its work with kids. But that is only part of the story. Fraser recently organized a formal adult mental health department. They’ve developed housing in Richfield.
A conversation among neighbors. It may seem simple, but for Ian Powers, it proves how far he’s come.
“I was more the kid who would go hang out with the teacher at recess and not with the kids and I never really had somebody over to my house till I was in high school,” Powers said.
Ian has autism, anxiety and ADD. He also has a knack for computers and a brand new address. He moved into Fraser’s Supportive Living apartments in May for adults with high-functioning disabilities.
“Services, once you turn 18, it’s like you have these great services up until you’re 18. When you turn 18, everything kind of goes, you’re told, ‘You have to figure this out yourself,” Powers said.
Each client who lives here gets their own 600-foot, one bedroom apartment with a kitchen, den, bathroom and bedroom.
But the greatest perks are not the amenities.
“They sign the lease, they have the key, and as needed, they can have staff come in and provide services,” Jessica Enneking with Fraser Adult Services said.
They are the only local group to have housing like this.
“It makes them more successful in their new place and makes them to feel more independent,” Enneking said.
Like Ian, living on his own for the first time, getting a degree in IT.
“I didn’t know if I could do school but it turns out I just needed the help, I just needed to be able to ask for help and you found it here,” Enneking said.
Fraser wants to offer more services to adults like Ian. He had to wait to get into his apartment on a waiting list for two-and-a-half years.