What is Austin’s House?

 Austin’s House is a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation formed on January 25, 2007. The goal is to empower persons with developmental disabilities to live their lives in a way most of us take for granted by providing them a place to call their own while still remaining close to family and friends.


What is our mission?

 The mission of Austin’s House is to promote, plan, develop and provide secure long-term residential services responsive to the needs of persons with disabilities within their community.  We are dedicated to educating the public that, given the opportunity, people with disabilities can succeed and become valued, productive citizens.

“Austin’s House…a special home for special needs”


Who is responsible for Austin’s House?

 The Board of Austin’s House is comprised of concerned parents of children with disabilities, as well as dedicated and compassionate community members.  This all-volunteer board consists of seven individuals from the Westphalia area.  These individuals are dedicated to the mission of providing residential services for persons with developmental disabilities from Westphalia and the surrounding communities.  The board consists of the following members:  George and Jeanne Heckman, Luke and Janet Pohl, Lee Klein, Jordan Thelen and Lisa Werner.  The board is committed to addressing the housing needs of all those interested in staying in the community.


What type of facility is Austin’s House?

 Our current Austin’s House home, located in Westphalia, MI, is a men’s special care home that accommodates three severely disabled residents.  This home was custom-designed and is fully handicap accessible with three bedrooms and an office/sleeping area for staff.  The home has extra-wide doors and hallways, tempered glass windows, solar tubes to flood the home with natural light, handicap accessible bathroom(s) and more. Every effort is made to provide a cohesive family fit amongst the residents and parents.



What type of care do residents receive?

Dependent upon the needs of the residents, the home(s) provide(s) up to 24-hour staffing to assist residents with the basic living necessities, including proper nutrition, hygiene, rest, nurturing, recreation, companionship and education.  The level of care provided by staff is dependent upon the capabilities of the residents.  While providing living assistance, residents are encouraged to work toward their mental and physical potential by promoting independent living.  Activities of daily living are incorporated at all times.  Residents are assisted in leisure activities that may include walking, biking, swimming, park and playground activities, bowling, and more.


Who provides staffing?

Austin’s House contracts with a fully licensed agency experienced and committed in providing comprehensive residential support for individuals with developmental disabilities.


How is Austin’s House funded?

Funding for the construction/purchase and operation of an Austin’s House home is provided primarily by donations and through the solicitation of federal, state, local and private grants.  Once established, residents are charged a monthly fee for rent and other miscellaneous services, as well as contributing toward the cost of staff.  Our organization relies on the support of volunteers, monetary gifts, non-cash items, such as property and/or equipment and skilled trades.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has approved Austin’s House as a public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  As such, all donations to Austin’s House qualify as a charitable deduction on your federal income tax return.


What are the requirements of potential residents?

The minimum residency requirements are that potential residents must be individuals 18 years of age or older with a developmental disability.  Individuals must demonstrate good health and not need additional care beyond assistance of daily living.


How can I make a qualifying tax-deductible donation?

We greatly appreciate any and all support of Austin’s House.  If you or your organization would like to make a qualifying tax-deductible monetary donation, you may do so in cash or check made payable to Austin’s House, and sent to 15560 W. Hanses Rd., Westphalia, MI 48894.  Non-monetary donations, such as property or equipment, are also appreciated.  Please call 989-292-0427 for consideration of your non-monetary gift. Austin’s House will provide a contribution receipt to all donors for their individual tax reporting purposes.


Who should I contact for more information?

For further information, please contact Luke Pohl at 989-292-0427 or Janet Pohl at 989-292-1711.