I was asked if my son is homeless because he refuses to take medication. No, he’s caught in the gap, too high functioning to receive help from the system, but also denied SSI three times. Diagnosed with Schizophrenia eleven years ago, for the last six, he’d worked full time and returned to college part-time. Which is how I know recovery is possible with support services! He made a mistake many people make, including me. He didn’t practice defensive dating and lost everything he’d worked so hard to replace after his initial diagnosis. He was then denied shelter by Marc Community Center over a $40.00 income shortfall. I wasn’t allowed to contribute because I’m not the client. I’ve started over three times and thank God for my mother’s help. If the goal is recovery for the SMI client, agencies should partner with families willing to sacrifice for their loved ones.
The mission of my 501c3, Dsquared Homes for the Homeless, is the prevention of homelessness for SMI clients who, like my son, can continue to be productive members of society so that they don’t lapse into homelessness. In an economy straining under the homelessness/mental health crisis, it only makes sense to help individuals remain independent when they have a temporary setback. Had my son received assistance while he was interviewing for a new position, he would still be working.
Until we have housing, I’m on the lookout for another family willing to split the cost of rent for someone they love in the same position. Finding a job while living in a car is an impossible situation. I’m never giving up on my son and will also continue to be a voice for this forgotten population. Dsquared4homeless.org