Trailhead Community: Where Neuro-Inclusion and Cooperative Living Thrive

When conceiving the 81-unit Trailhead Community apartments, our primary objective was to create a haven that offered secure housing and an enriching lifestyle for neuro- diverse adults—individuals with intellectual disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, and others. These adults often grapple with challenges related to executive function skills, including memory, attention, planning, processing, flexibility, and handling frustration. A pivotal decision in shaping this community was to make it neuro-inclusive, ensuring that half of the residents would be neuro-diverse, and the other half would be neuro-typical—adults without intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The subsequent significant decision was to establish a cooperatively managed community. In essence, residents collaboratively make decisions and assume responsibility for maintaining their homes, establishing rules and regulations, resolving conflicts, and even organizing meal plans and social activities. As a cohesive community, residents support each other in managing their new homes, with neuro- typical and neuro-diverse individuals joining forces to leverage their respective talents. While we were confident that our neuro-diverse residents would find fulfillment in being busy and useful, we pondered whether neuro-typical residents would share the same sentiment.

The question arose—why would a neuro-typical individual choose to live here? Our hope was that compassionate and altruistic individuals would be drawn to our cost-effective and dynamic community. Surprisingly, the real allure proved to be the opportunity to assist others.

Here’s what some of our prospective residents have shared with us: “After my husband passed away, I moved in with my daughter and assisted around the house. However, with my daughter now frequently traveling, my assistance is no longer needed. The concept of a supportive community where I can be useful appeals to me.” “Having previously worked as a caretaker, I’ve come to realize that my happiness is intertwined with helping others. Trailhead is my dream come true.

“Upon becoming disabled and unable to work, I initially believed my productive years were behind me. At Trailhead, I can provide guitar lessons, mediate disputes, and assist with technology issues. Disability should not hinder my ability to give back.” These future residents promise to be wonderful neighbors, contributing to the incredible sense of community at Trailhead. We are looking for just 30 more very special neuro-typical residents to complete our Community of good neighbors!

Trailhead Community is an 80-unit non-profit condominium project located near
C470 and Bowles. For more information, please visit their website at trailheadcommunity.org. While there, consider signing up for the newsletter, adding your name to the waitlist, or clicking “Contact” to submit your questions.

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