Little Acorn House is grass roots, nonprofit organization comprised of families who are interested in creating innovative programs and services for people with developmental disabilities. Our focus is developing a new housing alternative that has live-in staff, goal-oriented meaningful life programs, and community inclusion.
Little Acorn House was founded by a group of parents that were seeking a meaningful life for their children with IDD (Intellectual Developmental Disabilities) after they turn 21. Finding no acceptable options when our children faced “aging out” of the residential educational system in Pennsylvania our three families joined together with KenCrest Services to form a new model of residential living located on a 2-acre Farmette in the Kimberton area of Chester County Pennsylvania. We knew that we wanted our children to have quality support with continuity of care that is called life-sharing. Our model includes house parents and co-workers that live, eat, sleep, work and celebrate each day together.
Camphill Special School is the inspiration for our vision; that all individuals deserve a fulfilling meaningful life that is as individual as each of us. Our children all attended Camphill Special School where they received love and respect and were challenged to participate in everyday family farm life activities.
We chose to establish Little Acorn House within the community of Kimberton PA that has welcomed the Camphill philosophy for over 50 years. Locating in Kimberton has allowed for Little Acorn House residents and co-workers to integrate with the adult Camphill communities for special events, festivals, volunteering and daily living adventures.
Our model also continues to help each individual to continue their growth and education throughout adult life. At LAH young adults are encouraged to live as independently as possible in a safe and nurturing home where lasting relationships are developed. Our residents lead richer, fuller lives because our staff encourages them to have a voice in making the house their home - from choosing their daily activities to deciding what’s for dinner leading to a more meaningful day that is uniquely specialized around each adult’s interests.
The strong connection with Camphill School continues to enrich the vision and mission of Little Acorn House. The founding parents chose to establish Little Acorn House within the community of Kimberton which has over 50 years of history in welcoming Camphill’s philosophy and will allow for ongoing integration with the Camphill Communities for special events, festivals and daily living.
For the young adults living at Little Acorn House this innovative program in cooperation with KenCrest provides these them with an invaluable sense of home, community and family that gives them the chance to live life to the fullest every day.
And for the parents and families of those served by Little Acorn House, this program provides invaluable peace of mind knowing that their children are happy, healthy, safe and cared for by skilled and compassionate professionals – and at home with their Little Acorn House family.
Life-sharing means that adults with intellectual disabilities live and work together with the co-workers as a large extended family, sharing the same joys, sorrows, special occasions and occasional frustrations that all families do.
The rhythm of the day at LAH revolves around the needs of each resident and can include house work, land work, animal husbandry and volunteering in the community. Each morning the co-workers and the residents work side by side caring for the gardens, the chickens, the pigs and the sheep. In addition, they work together to do the cleaning, cooking and baking needed to ensure that the household runs smoothly. Community involvement may include going to the local YMCA, weaving, woodworking, volunteering or other community events.
Life at Little Acorn House is built upon the recognition of each individual's spiritual wholeness and an appreciation for the unique gifts of each individual, no matter how severely involved they may be. The focus is not on disability but on ability.
Our Values and Principles:
Little Acorn House (LAH) understands that each individual with disabilities and their families have a unique set of goals and preferences. LAH is committed to support all people with disabilities to achieve his or her individual goals. LAH believes that family occupies one of the most important positions in helping an individual achieve his or her goals and to maximize his or her potential by being actively involved. We value the family that is Little Acorn House.
Meet Our Acorns
Little Acorn Resident
My name is Leta. My Mom affectionately calls me “troublesome truck”, possibly because I’m very strong but more likely because I generally tend to simply plow through life. I am 21 years old and like Will, I have a birthday in August. I share my birthday with former President Barack Obama. I promise I am not making a political statement by telling you this but….
Little Acorn House is an amazing home and I am so grateful for everyone who has made it possible. I love my house parent Gabriella and her 2-year-old son Oscar. And all the other co-workers that live here are like family to me now. We have so much fun together working around the house, taking care of the animals and spending time in Kimberton and Phoenixville. My favorite things to do are going for long walks at Valley Forge and taking care of our two bunnies. I also love it when my mom and brother and sisters come to visit me. I look forward to going home to their house sometimes, but this is my home now.
As you can see from my picture, I take my gardening seriously. But I always clean up nicely!
Hi! my name is Will Cook and I am 22 years old, my favorite day is August 1st because it is my birthday! I have a big brother and a big sister, my brother is Nate 29 and I like to tease him that he is “real, real old” and my sister Meagan is 25 and I like to call her “Nonni” and she plays rugby. Nate and my sister-in-law Liz have a baby, “Addison” who is my niece, and they are due to have my 2nd niece later this year! Nonni just moved back to Philadelphia so I am very happy to see her on some weekends!
I moved into my forever home “Little Acorn House” this past July and I am having a blast here! My room makes me happy because when the sun comes up in the morning I can see the bunny hutches and the chickens from my windows. I love to work our land, retrieve fresh eggs every day, collect fresh milk from our Kimberton neighbors and sing along to piano music with my friends. I am so thankful to my Mom and Dad, the Gallagher’s, Lainey Mosely and our families and friends who have made Little Acorn House my home.
I love my Little Acorn Family and the life we are making together.
Hi, my name is Emily. I’ll be 22 in November, but I look more like a 4th grader. I have two big brothers Matt and Mike who are 23 and 24. They live in Downingtown, PA and so do my Mom and Dad so I get to see them all the time. I started to go to Camphill Special School when I was 7 years old and in 1st grade but didn’t live there during the week until I was in 7th grade. At first my parents didn’t like me living away from them but I was able to do more at school then at home so it was a chance for me to grow. Camphill has a cool feel to it and the staff never saw my disabilities, only my abilities. So in July when it was time for me to leave Camphill, my parents joined Leta’s Mom and Will’s parents to create Little Acorn House with Camphill as their model.
You know what they say, from one little acorn can grow a whole forest. The Little Acorn House staff I live with give me a chance to be me. It’s not about me helping them; it’s about them helping me. I can’t speak but everyone at Little Acorn House still knows what I want and need because we live together and they really know me. They know when I don’t feel well or if I’m going to have a seizure.
Right now, I get to gather eggs from our chickens, garden and help with some house chores. I love music and now that Little Acorn House has a piano, Zach, a member of the staff, plays the piano and we listen to music a lot. Little Acorn House is planning on adding goats and sheep to the farm and once that happens, I’ll get to help feed them and muck stalls. I love to participate in everything but I need help all the time and that’s great because everyone at Little Acorn House helps each other.