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About First Place

Opening doors to more options for living, learning and leading.

New jobs. New friends. Community interaction.

Many adults with autism and other neuro-diverse abilities face unique challenges in daily living. That’s why it’s critically important to design housing that nurtures a spirit of community, independence and interdependence within a supportive and caring environment. It’s also why we’re focused on providing the tools to help residents develop a lifestyle that’s meaningful, productive, connected and fulfilling.

Envisioned as a residential community development that aspires to catalyze international models, First Place® offers supportive housing and a residential transition program for individuals with autism and for other neuro-diverse populations, as well as sites for education, training and creative inspiration.

First Place–Phoenix is the culmination of nearly two decades of dedicated research, travel and ideation. One of our noteworthy major studies is Opening Doors: A Discussion of Residential Options for Adults Living with Autism and Related Disorders, which offers a detailed look at market demands and pressing concerns, residential models, goals, guidelines and much more. (Find more studies/resources.)

First Place-Phoenix, our first new property, is an innovative residential development that includes three major components:

1

Apartments

56 apartments (studio, one-, two- and four- bedroom units) where residents are supported by a suite of independent living services and amenities in the heart of Phoenix, maximizing independence, community integration, personal enrichment and quality of life.

2

Transition Academy

The two-year, tuition-based First Place Transition Academy, operated by the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center, for 32 participants annually who are transitioning to more independent living and who will reside at First Place in year one, off-campus in year two.

3

Leadership Institute

First Place Leadership Institute empowered by a national faculty, advancing the continued education and training of support service providers, professionals and physicians, and serving as a robust site for research and public policy advancements.