Mel Karmazian

Mel Karmazian

In November 2015, Rutgers University announced a significant donation to the Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services (RCAAS) by Mel Karmazin the former CEO of Viacom. The Karmazin Foundation is headed by Mel's daughter Dina Karmazian, and Dina's son was diagnosed with autism at age 2. On this Carousel 51 Blog, I typically focus on New York State issues in the Developmentally Disabled and Autism housing communities. However, Rutgers has the potential to be a national beacon for the Autism and DD population due to the second phase of the model that they announced:

"A second building nearby will accommodate 20 adults with ASD and 20 Rutgers graduate students living side by side. The apartment-style building will consist of one, two-, three- and four-bedroom residences, each equipped with its own kitchen as well as dining, living and laundry rooms."

I have always felt that our population needs to find different ways of creating Public-Private Partnerships, and now the Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services has hired Christopher J Manente as their new Executive Director. His introduction video is below:


I was able to speak with Christopher Manente and we share many thoughts and beliefs about the future of DD/Autism housing and communities. In addition, our friend Joseph Campagna of Special Needs Home Connect sent this very interesting HUD study on Public-Private Partnerships:

"Consequently, a new mindset that values cross-sectoral collaboration is providing an impetus to break down barriers and cross boundaries. The belief that more can be accomplished together is leading to smarter strategies and more effective practices that hold great promise as the cases documented here demonstrate."