So Disgusted

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by JKF, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    As you ALL know I'm dealing nonstop with a mentally ill difficult child who is now homeless. He was kicked out of the only emergency shelter in our county for being verbally abusive and breaking a curfew rule. I was told by the Office of Temp Assistance that they would not help him find housing for 6 months because he caused his own homelessness. It doesn't matter that he's mentally ill and that his homelessness is the result of the behaviors caused by his mental illness. All that matters is that he broke the rules. Ugggh!

    I've been working with the Mental Health Association and they've been a godsend. He's up next for a bed at the Safe Haven shelter and hopefully that will open soon because he's been living at the train station and behind a stairwell. He hasn't showered or changed clothes in over a week. The social worker from the OTA urged me to contact the shelter he was kicked out of and explain to the director about difficult child's mental health issues and ask if they would be willing to let him stay until his bed opens up if he would promise to follow the rules and take his medication every day. She said they may not agree but it would be worth a try.

    Ok, so I emailed the director of the shelter and explained the situation. He just called me back and said that they "do not have the capacity to deal with the mentally ill and that because of that they are turning mentally ill people away.” So basically no, difficult child can't come back at all because he's mentally ill and they don't want mentally ill people there. Uhhh hello - half of the homeless population is MENTALLY ILL! He also told me I should at least feel better because the "weather's taking a turn" and difficult child probably won't freeze to death out on the streets.

    This guy was a complete a**hole and I really wanted to pull a difficult child and tell him so. I bit my tongue and thanked him, but I am now considering taking this further. My friend who works in the mental health field suggested maybe contacting the newspaper.

    I called the OTA social worker back and she confirmed that the shelter does not like to take people with mental health issues because most of the staff there are recovering addicts and alcoholics and they don't have the training to deal with mental health. Isn't that discrimination? Not allowing someone in because of a disability or illness?? I don't know - maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree but I feel like something is seriously wrong with this whole thing.

    I expressed my disgust to the social worker. I said difficult child has been living under a stairwell and at the train station and he hasn't showered in over a week. I said he's deteriorating rapidly and needs HELP! She then put me on hold and went to her supervisor with the whole situation. When she came back on the line she asked if maybe I could take him to which I said no I can't so she said she's calling the MHA worker and would get back to me shortly. Maybe I'll get some kind of good news out of this but I'm not holding my breath. Uggggghhhhhhhhhhhh!
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Can you take him to a hospital for a short spell while waiting for the bed?

    From what the director said, he is being honest. Recovering drug addicts and alcoholics wouldn't know how to care for a mentally ill person WHO ACTED OUT. I was on a psychiatric unit three times and sometimes the patients would get aggressive and actually fight with each other and security guards had to be called to seperate them. It's really hard taking care of aggressive mentally ill patients, and VERY sadly they closed most hospitals that kept them long term. Is there a YMCA around? If so, pay the Y the $6.00 for a day pass so he can warm up, take a shower in the locker room and see some semblance of normalcy.

    I believe I've mentioned this before, but have you contacted Disability for him?

    When I kicked my daughter out, she right away called her brother and begged him to let her stay with him so she was never actually out there behind the stairwell in a train station. Reading about kids who actually had to do the homeless bit brings me to tears. We were going to make daughter leave, regardless, but she caught a break. I can only imagine how your mommy heart hurts knowing he is out there. There is no rule that says you can't help him a little bit so that he can at least clean up. Maybe I'm going to anger some of the other moms, but I don't think that little bit of kindness is enabling.

    Take care.
  3. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Thanks MWM. I didn't even think of the Y. I'll have to check that out. As for the hospital they won't admit him. We've been down that road a million times and because he's not an immediate risk to himself or others they won't take him.

    I was thinking that if the Y doesn't work out I may pick him up on Wed morning after I take my easy child to school and then bring him to the house for a shower and laundry. I'll drop him back off on my way to work but he'll at least get a shower and have some clean clothes.
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sending hugs, you are a real Warrior Mom JKF. I am so sorry you are going through all of this, there are so many holes in the services for the Mentally Ill. Have you ever contacted NAMI, they have offices all over, can be contacted online and have social workers who are more adept at helping. I am saying a prayer for you...............
  5. I know we are in a different country JKF but our mental health service offers a program where the mentally ill patient is provided with an advocate who knows how to navigate the system and all the red tape that goes with it. They know what services are available and how to get them. Once the patient has an advocate they always have that advocate.

    Maybe NAMI offers something like this? I'm hoping to get my difficult child set up with someone like this as well and if I can catch him in a good frame of mind then I will be able to have a say in it and be able to have contact with his advocate as well (difficult child would have to approve).

    I'm sorry you are so frustrated. I certainly understand the frustration. You are right about the fact that so many homeless are homeless because they have mental illness. It is a broken system at best (in both our countries). I wish it weren't so.
  6. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Omg - I'm 99% sure that the OTA is going to put difficult child in a motel until Safe Haven opens. The caseworker has to get the ok from the MHA but I think it's going to happen tomorrow. Fingers crossed!
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Everything crossed (I can't hold this position too long JKF, getting too old!) ...........let us know what happens.............HUGS..............
  8. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    Hoping things work out for him to get the motel room.
  9. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    Oh, I have eerything crossed that he gets the motel until his bed opens up.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am crossing all I can (not my eyes because then I couldn't fix the typos), and praying they can help. One of the things I find the sickest in our society is the way we handle the mentally ill. It is beyond WRONG that our jails and prisons are now the primary source of mental health care for a large portion of our citizens. Many who are mentally ill actually will end up breaking the law and getting caught so that they can have a roof over their heads, food in their bellies (even if it isn't good food) and to be out of the weather.

    You are doing a wonderful job as his mom. I know it has to be so hard and heartbreaking, esp when you have to tell someone that he cannot stay with you. Sadly, if the family or friends are willing to give the person a couch to sleep on, or any basic things, the MH groups, social workers, etc... often say that they cannot help them and it is left to the family. Only when family cannot and/or will not help the person will services kick in. Several places around here will actually take a person off their list for the homeless shelter, etc... if a family member will take them in even for one night or will give them food a few times a week. They figure the family is able to help so the MH groups, shelter, etc... won't help. It is sad.
  11. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Thank you all so much! We need lots of prayers and good vibes today! I've got my Warrior Mom gear on and I'm going to fight tooth and nail to get difficult child into a motel. I already have a call into the MHA worker. She knows I need to talk to her ASAP. She's in a meeting but will call me the second she's done.

    My bff (who has known difficult child since he was born) runs a couple of group homes for mentally ill young adults and she had to go to the town where difficult child is staying yesterday to see one of her clients. She was able to make contact with difficult child and bought him dinner and gave him some money. She said it was so sad to see him like that. He smells horribly and is filthy and is carrying around everything he owns in a black plastic bag. His face is all broken out and his fingernails are long and dirty. I can't get that out of my mind. I'm literally heartbroken. OMG - I don't know how much longer I can stay tough but I know if I cave I'll never get any services for him. Like susiestar said, once anyone helps, social services considers their job done and moves on and I can't allow that to happen. I have to stay strong and keep fighting so that he'll be ok in the long run and not just temporarily.
  12. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Well the MHA feels like he's a great candidate for motel services. The social worker at OTA needs to get final approval from her supervisor and then she'll call me back. I hope this works out. I'm so scared and such a mess today. I can't concentrate on anything here at work.

    I haven't heard from difficult child at all today which scares the living daylights out of me. I usually hear from him every day at some point in the morning and he knew to call me this morning to find out about the motel but I've heard nothing at all from him. I called the day shelter before and he wasn't there like he normally is in the mornings and he didn't log on to Facebook at all. I can't help but worry that something has happened to him. I'm literally sitting here in full panic attack mode. I can't breathe and I'm ready to throw up.
  13. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry. I'll say a prayer and keep my fingers crossed that he is aok. Hugs DDD
  14. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm so sorry JKF, I'm saying a prayer for your difficult child and sending hugs to you............
  15. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Well - I did hear from the MHA worker who said her outreach workers saw him at the community soup kitchen just now. So he's alive. OMG. Thank god. Funny/embarrassing story - I was in the ladies room when the call came in and I didn't want to miss it so I hurried out of the stall to take the call and someone walked in and caught me with my pants unbuttoned and parts hanging out. OMG! :redface: I rinsed my hands and hurried out of the bathroom and didn't make eye contact so I have no idea who it was. They were probably in shock! lol And I'm pretty sure the MHA worker heard the toilet flush. But you know what? Oh well. If that's the worst thing that happens to me today I'll take it.

    And thank you for your prayers!!! I appreciate it so much!
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
  16. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Whew! Great that the MHA worker told you that the outreach workers saw him. You've gotten yourself so hooked up in the system that you even have spies out there on the lookout! You really have done an amazing job of making all these connections and in such a short time. Usually the wheels turn so slowly but because of your tenacity and your remarkable will to help him, you've managed to move mountains in days!

    I know that horrible fear when you don't hear from them and you imagine the worst............sigh.........Hopefully he can get into the motel ASAP and get cleaned up and warm and safe. You've done a stellar job JKF, take a deep breath now and get your system back on track and feeling calm once again. I'm saying prayers for a motel room with difficult child's name on it and for your peace of mind...........