TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — A program for adults with autism and other developmental disorders is closing its doors June 13.
Chapel Haven West has been in the community for more than a decade and has helped several people, but like many other businesses and organizations, it cites financial hardship during the pandemic for the closure of its Tucson campus.
For alumnae Joe Cox, Chapel Haven West is the reason he is living independently.
“I learned all kinds of things there from learning how to clean your own apartment to cooking to putting out kitchen fires to getting out of the building in case of a fire,” he explained.
That’s Chapel Haven’s mission---to coach adults with autism to live on their own and lead productive lives.
Joe credits the center for his success, which includes a vlog and a college degree.
“Chapel Haven definitely made me work that much harder on my school work for the UofA," said Cox.
He said the closure is going to be a big hit to the Tucson community.
“When I got the news it was closing I was devastated,” he said.“There are many young adults like me in Tucson who want to learn independence from their parents and want to learn financial independence and how to be independent young adults and they’re going to have to find some other way to do that.”
Though it's closing its doors locally, Chapel Haven addressed what’s next for people using their services.
"We also are working closely with affected families on a range of options. They may join our Asperger Syndrome Adult Transition (ASAT) program or our supported living program, both of which are flourishing here in new haven. They also may join chapel haven online, our virtual curriculum," said Chapel Haven.
While Chapel Haven West is closing, there are still several other resources for the autism community in Tucson.