A Saskatoon couple who couldn’t find support for the adult autistic son have taken matters into their own hands.

Larry and Joan Grozell love their 22-year-old son Bennet, but they recently found out they can’t provide the car he needs. “Often males will become aggressive, physical, and very volatile,” Joan said. “That’s what happened with him.”

After looking for a care home for Bennett didn’t get any results, the couple decided to bridge the gap themselves. They’re building a nine room care home on their property in Grasswood.

The Grozells plan to make the space a long term care home for those with a range of cognitive disabilities, including autism, down syndrome, or head injuries. The property will include a Quonset where they plan to teach boarders life skills.

“What I would really like to do is find a business that we could set up and run on a non-profit basis where the kids could have a bona fide working environment, bona fide pay check, and self-respect,” Larry said.

The Saskatchewan Association of Community living said Bennett Grozell and many others fall into a gap in the system. They have intellectual disabilities that affect their social behavior, but a higher IQ than what’s required for government housing services.

“The Grozell’s saw this need for their son and they could have been selfish and said ‘we’re just going to build something for Bennett’ but they saw this need for other kids and other families,” said Nicholas Fraser, the initiatives and research coordinator for the Saskatchewan Association of Community Living.

The family hopes to have their first rooms filled later this fall. If all goes well, they expect to expand and add six to eight more rooms on the bottom level of the bungalow.