On June 2, 2003 GHA Autism Supports began construction on Carolina Farms, a new and innovative program in Albemarle, North Carolina designed to enable additional individuals from the autistic population to realize a dream of living and working in a farming environment in beautiful Stanly County.
Carolina Farms is affiliated with TEACCH (Treatment and Education for Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children), which is a part of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Medical School.
Carolina Farms was initially developed in three phases, with the final phase being completed in November 2005. Each phase involved the construction of a five-bed group home along with additional facilities that encompass the vocational aspects of life on the farm. Additional facilities for the Farm include a multi-purpose building, barn, two greenhouses, therapeutic riding ring, recreational track and swimming pool. Carolina Farms also has a Community Supported Agriculture program and a creative arts program that employ individuals with autism that GHA supports.
Grants and donations were secured from numerous sources in all planning phases of Carolina Farms including the following:
Albemarle Rotary Club
The Duke Endowment
Home Depot Foundation
Jack Fanning Memorial Foundation
Mrs. Diane K. Howard
Hudson Fence Supply
Jeff Shaver & Sons LLC
Kate B. Reynolds Foundation
Speedway Children’s Charities
Stanly County Community Foundation