Hopeful beginnings

Krystle Wagner • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:31 PM

“This is more than I could have ever imagined for him,” she said.

The mother of two looked around the home where her 17-year-old autistic son, Ben, will live in the fall. It's at Benjamin’s Hope in Holland Township, a place for families dealing with developmental disabilities.

The first four female residents will move into their homes in June. Four men in August and four men in October will join the community.

“It’s a miracle,” Mason said tearfully.

Ben became the inspiration for Benjamin’s Hope when his mother worried about her son’s future, including where he would live and work.

When Ben was diagnosed with autism at age 2, about one in 10,000 children were diagnosed with the disorder. Now, it’s one in 88 children, Mason said.

The Holland Township woman and director of Benjamin’s Hope wanted to give other families and community members a place where loved ones can live, work and worship in a safe environment.

Since beginning campaigning efforts in 2010, the private/public partnership has raised about $6 million, but they are working to raise an additional $3 million to finish building homes, a produce stand and more.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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