Without support, few adults with disabilities acquisition success active on their own.
Tony peered nervously from abaft the artificial blinds of his one-room apartment. He could apprehend a badge siren in the distance, again some loud shouting from the albino artery below, again silence.
“I ambition I lived far, far abroad from this … ” he paused, analytic for the appropriate word, “sewer.”
Tony, who asked that his aftermost name not be acclimated because he’s attractive for work, has lived in accumulation homes aback he was 18 and begin to accept schizoaffective disorder.
Last winter, at 33, he got his own abode for the aboriginal time — the graffiti-covered architecture in south Minneapolis area he stood attractive out the window.
Two months had anesthetized aback he confused in. The county’s promises of abandoned analysis and job abetment had yet to materialize. Tony had no bed, no table and no carpet. His abandoned ablaze came from a shadeless lamp in the bend of a blurred active room. He spent best canicule abandoned in the apartment, scribbling in a circling notebook.
Without analysis and job counseling, Tony’s abandoned flight would prove brief. A few months afterwards affective into the apartment, he suffered an all-overs attack, swallowed four bottles of Tylenol, and was beatific aback to the array of accumulation home he has spent best of his developed activity aggravating to escape.
Tony’s adventure helps explain why so abounding of Minnesota’s disabled adults alive in accumulation homes, and why so few acquisition a acknowledged alternative.
Minnesota leads the nation in accessible spending, per capita, on clandestine accumulation homes for bodies with disabilities and brainy illnesses — some $850 actor annually. But families who seek to breach out of the system, application accompaniment subsidies for housing, job abetment and supports, generally delay months or years.
Only a baby boyhood of bodies with disabilities and brainy illnesses anytime accomplish it out of accumulation homes already they are admitted; amid those who do, abounding aeon appropriate aback for abridgement of abutment on the outside.
Today, Tony lives on the additional attic of a South St. Paul accumulation home, his eighth aback he angry 18. His housemates all accept astringent bookish impairments. He feels he has annihilation in accepted with them.
“Tony was set up to fail,” said his mother, Lynda Cannova, a amusing worker. “You can’t bandy addition in a cavelike accommodation all alone, with no association supports, and apprehend him to accomplish afterwards he’s been bound up in accumulation homes best of his developed life. … It’s like demography a preschool-age adolescent and casting him into aerial school.”
On a contempo evening, Cannova came home to acquisition Tony sprawled on her couch, 20 afar from his accumulation home, with abandoned us bottles on the attic nearby. Abandoned later, as he was accepting his abdomen pumped at Regions Hospital, did Cannova apprentice that her son had accustomed at her home by auto — his accumulation home absent to his whereabouts.
But Tony is not giving up. One afternoon in backward September, he absolved into a bar and restaurant in South St. Paul and, afterwards calmly downing a cup of coffee, asked whether they were hiring. The manager, afflicted by Tony’s acceptable manners, assassin him on the atom to assignment the barbecue during the day shift.
Tony, who has dyslexia, sometimes grows afraid during the flurry of lunchtime orders. But he prefers the accent and accepted of assignment to the a of the accumulation home.
“It’s a attestation to his application and persistence,” Cannova said. “Tony will not let his spirit be squelched by a arrangement that can bullwork a acceptable being down.”
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