Timeline and History of AuSSN
AuSSN was founded by Dr. Lisa Jamnback, MD, in 2006. She began to advance her vision with the help of Lorrie Ebbitt, director of Just Life, Inc., and together they developed a board of directors and held public meetings to raise awareness and encourage participation in the project and board.
Once AuSSN was officially a 501c3 non-profit organization, the board pursued some fund-raising projects to begin to establish itself in the community and provide for basic operating expenses. Lisa and Lorrie presented the project at professional conferences and established a connection with Bittersweet Farms in Whitehouse, Ohio, where the farmstead residential model for people with autism and developmental disabilities has been operating successfully for over thirty years. Bittersweet Farms has become the model upon which AuSSN is built.
In the years since it’s founding, the board has seen significant change as some members moved out of the area or were otherwise unable to continue serving. In 2011, the Board consisted of three determined members. During the ensuing years the project’s focus has been sharpened, and steady progress toward the completion of the business plan has been made.
Our first residence will be a group home on at least 30 acres of land in southwestern Pennsylvania that can be developed into a working, green, organic farm.
Direct care supports will be provided 24/7. The farmstead will be in a serene country setting, but not too far from the amenities of town.
The business plan will be finalized in late March, 2016. The timeline for the future includes the following benchmarks:
- Research appropriate funding sources and prepare grant proposals.
- Secure initial grant funding sufficient to hire a part-time staff, including an executive director and administrative support.
- Board development with particular focus on increasing membership from the legal, accounting, and real estate professions.
- Hold fund-raising and awareness events and offer speaker services to interested groups.
- Ongoing search for appropriate land in southwestern Pennsylvania.