Hope at the end of the tunnel?

There have been so many times that my nephew has told family members what they want to hear only to realize that it is what drug addicts do to get what they want. I am trying to be open minded and believe that this time it is different and he is on his way to recovery and a more meaningful life. There are many signs that this is true, but there are so many obstacles that are still there.

He is living in an older motel in Cherry Hill that seems to be a go to short term housing solution for our Social Services system. It isn’t an efficiency, so there are no stoves or microwaves. That means that his hot meals are meals that can be created by the hot water in his room. Getting food is also a problem because he has mobility problems and there aren’t any stores that he can just walk to and buy groceries. There is a WAWA and a McDonalds in his walking range, but that isn’t an answer to his food issues. I keep up with him through the phone they provided to him and that is a great improvement. However, he still only reaches out when he wants something.

When there is an extended time between calls and texts, I have tendency to expect the worse, but I am trying to be more positive and believe he is becoming more self sufficient. I also know that he is bipolar and sometimes he does things that are impulsive and not in his best interest. When my wife and I talked about his situation, we realized that he doesn’t seem to have any friends and he has very distant relationship with family members. That by itself seems to be a very difficult thing to know and navigate.

The calls and e-mails from his case manager have dried up and I guess I need to start contacting them again to see what is happening from their point of view. Has he met their goals and is he now in the next stage where he is expected to be more independent? Has he moved on to another case manager? What is the plan other than just living at the motel? They indicated that he was eligible for housing. Is the motel the housing that they promised or is there actually a more independent housing alternative that will become available. I am not sure so I need to reach out and see how he is doing officially.

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I have a BA in Psychology and a teaching certificate as a Special Education teacher. I have a MA in Student Personnel Services and I recently retired from my position as a Guidance Counselor. I have been active on advisory boards concerning disability issues for over 25 years. I also have over 25 years of business experience in Human Resources and Operations Management.

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