Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Told you so

So I'd been almost patting myself on the back a couple weeks ago, thinking I'd earned my angel wings and all that...

That sort of thinking never turns out well, does it?

I'd managed to orchestrate a move for one of my most difficult mentally ill clients; he's been living in something like a boarding home situation for about 16 years and has wanted out of that climate for most all of that time. He'd call me multiple times a week with a new apartment he'd found or a new real estate agent he'd harassed into helping him find a place... all of which led to nothing but frustration on both our parts.

See, the thing is, he's crazy and has a hard time hiding it.

He has a small army of social workers that've been helping him to live a somewhat independent life... people that make sure he stays on his meds, washes his self and his clothes, pays his bills, doesn't piss off his landlord too much (that's my job!), etc.

We all sort of doubted that he could live on his own, but that's not our choice to make, is it?

So after years of trying and when things with his current landlord finally reached a breaking point, I located an apartment that met his annoyingly particular needs and begged him to let me do my job and get him into it.

Stay out of it! Please! Don't keep calling them with your craziness!

Instead he'd call me everyday with his questions and his rantings, trying to micromanage a process that he didn't need to be a part of. There were a lot of glitches along the way, but I got him in, got the Salvation Army to move him and donate furniture and household stuff. A success, I thought.

I'd hoped so anyway, with fingers crossed.

The ink is barely dry on our contracts with the new landlord. My phone has been eerily silent... I wanted that to mean things were going smoothly.

Today I got the call that his landlord is filing a notice to cease. This is the first legal step in the eviction process.

After just 25 days.

Can I get an, "I told you so"?

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Most of my mentally ill clients are blessed with wonderful, caring and understanding landlords. The issues they deal with from their tenants are unpredictably varied. I want to be able to draw some conclusion from my experiences, but I'm not there just yet. It feels like the various support systems that are in place to support the mentally ill are not working very well.

3 comments:

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Sad, sad, sad. My sister had a long history of mental illness and every few years had bad spells. All I can tell you is that we were always very, VERY grateful to the team of case workers who helped her find a new place to live. We couldn't keep her functioning on our own.

LauraHinNJ said...

Yes, Lynne... family support means everything!

That's not very common tho, unfortunately.

Rabbits' Guy said...

Oh gosh.

We have one of the now defunct "State Hospitals" here ... it was hundreds of acres and fully self sufficient - grounds designed by the Olmsted Brothers - their Dad did Central Park. Now a few buildings are used by non-profits, most are crumbing, and half the grounds are a county park. We planted a lot of trees along the stream there for this Earth Day.

I don't think the treatment for the mentally ill was very good or advanced then, but the facilities were there and safe.

Now the mentally ill here are medicated/therapyed/left on the streets to panhandle with a card board sign. Some live in shelters, some where ever.

Despite how much we try, I don't think we are a very caring nation.

I don't know how folks like you keep doing it. Maybe sometime you would explain that.