Organizations Aid in Closing the Gap

Grants help those with intellectual and developmental disabilities thrive. 

Milwaukee – AbleLight (formerly Bethesda Lutheran Communities) has been awarded $3,601,094 in grants during the first half of their fiscal year (Sept. 2021 – Feb. 2022) to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities achieve a sense of community and belonging and live meaningful and fulfilling lives. 

“As Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month comes to a close, we want to acknowledge and thank the generous organizations and agencies that have awarded AbleLight grants in support of our mission,” said Nisha Gandhi, vice president of development for AbleLight. “Our work relies on our generous donors and partnerships within our communities to replace isolation, homelessness, and despair with opportunity, engagement, and hope. Support from organizations like those listed below helps us deliver critical services and support for people with developmental disabilities – today and in the future.” 

More than 7 million people in the United States have a developmental disability and the number of children diagnosed continues to increase. Yet, despite increasing awareness of this growing population, these individuals and their families continue to be underserved with housing, services, employment, and educational opportunities. Due to stagnant funding, rising care costs, years-long waiting lists for services, and lack of viable living options, their needs are simply not being met. 

AbleLight works to close the gaps in housing and services for this community by providing personalized residential living options, behavioral supports, career coaching and learning opportunities, and a range of other services that promote safety, community, inclusion, and choice. All with the purpose of helping people with disabilities reach their full potential. 

Grants were given in support of AbleLight’s core impact areas to enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities: 

Safe and Loving Homes 

Creating affordable residential living options through our AbleLight Village project. 

  • Otto Bremer Trust (MN) $200,000 
  • Neumann Family Foundation – Fiscal Year 2021 (WI) $100,000 
  • Hardenbergh Foundation (MN) $250,000 
  • Amerhart Foundation (WI) $50,000 
  • M3 Foundation (WI) $10,000 

Innovation and Technology 

Funding smart home technologies that enable independence. 

  • Old National Bank Foundation (WI) $10,000 
  • Bader Philanthropies – Fiscal Year 2021 (WI) $100,000 

Independence and Wellbeing 

Delivering staffing services that ensure safety and support. 

  • Oregon Office of Developmental Disabilities Services (OR) $671,739 
  • Oregon Office of Developmental Disabilities Services (OR) $67,000 
  • Oregon Office of Developmental Disabilities Services (OR) $105,000 
  • Developmental Pathways (CO) $50,000 

Community and Faith 

Creating strong community and faith connections. 

  • FY20 – LWML California Nevada Hawaii $5,000 

Covid Relief 

Providing general support to offset challenges from the pandemic. 

  • HRSA Provider Relief Fund (National) $746,541 
  • HRSA Provider Relief Fund (National) $1,325,814 


About AbleLight 

AbleLight is a national leader in pioneering life-changing services that empower people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to thrive. Founded in 1904 in Wisconsin as a Christian mission, AbleLight promotes independence and inclusion across the U.S. through comprehensive and individualized supports that include housing, employment, spiritual life and much more. For details, go to, like our Facebook page and follow us on LinkedIn.