Story: Autism Community Network


The Autism Community Network (ACN), in San Antonio, Texas, provides services to more than 1,045 children each year, including diagnostic programs for children up to age 7 and occupational and speech therapy for children up to age 9. There are an estimated 30,000 individuals in San Antonio and surrounding areas that are impacted by autism, and ACN is one of only two nonprofit agencies that accepts Medicaid for diagnostic evaluations—providing 81 percent of these services.

Founded in 2008, the nonprofit moved to a new campus in 2023, renovating two buildings and upgrading outdoor space so it could serve more children and increase the ages of those served—eventually, up to age 18. ACN never turns a family away based on financial standing, nor does it prioritize access to care based on insurance coverage.

The Project

The $6.6 million project increases ACN’s screening and diagnostic capacity by 24 percent to an estimated 1,300 individuals each year. It includes two buildings that offer clinical space, a sensory gym, education space, administrative offices, a community center and outdoor green space for activities and gatherings, like camps and family events.

To help finance the project, Broadstreet committed $5.5 million from LISC’s New Market Tax Credit allocation. The Edwards Lifesciences PROPEL Fund, also managed by Broadstreet, is the NMTC investor. The Bank of San Antonio provided an additional bridge to cover ACN’s capital campaign pledges, which are helping fund the project.

Impact Statistics

  • $5.5M Broadstreet NMTC Equity Investment
  • 15 Projected Permanent Jobs Created

The Impact

Wait times for autism services in San Antonio and the surrounding area range from eight to 24 months—oftentimes, significantly delaying access to crucial therapeutic services for families. With the added capacity of the new campus, ACN estimates that it can reduce its diagnostic wait list and streamline its services into a comprehensive model of care. ACN is able to bridge gaps in ways that would not have been possible in its previous facility.

NMTC financing meant the project could be completed within its planned three-year time period without incurring substantial debt. Were NMTCs not part of the effort, ACN would have had to narrow the scope of its work—limiting opportunities available for residents on the autism spectrum.

The project also created 190 construction jobs and 15 new permanent jobs—all of which pay above a living wage in a community with a high poverty rate (23.5 percent), low average median income (64.5 percent) and above-average unemployment (8.3 percent).