Like a lot of homeless people and people that are drug dependent, Aaron is not very good at dealing with the frustrations of dealing with the workings of government agencies and their time lines. If you add in his bi-polar issues and figure that he might not be taking his medications, this problem gets a lot more complex and frustrating for him. The people and family members that are involved in an uncertain journey because he does not always contact us or follow through with his commitments. With that said, he does seem to be trying to follow through and move forward. He is adamant that he didn’t sell his phone and just lost it.
I have been trying to help him get another phone through his case manager, but this is a very slow process. I am going to try to get him a phone because it will really help with his progress. I found out that he is not attending all of his meetings because the ride that they send to pick him up will pull in, beep their horn, wait a few minutes and will leave if he doesn’t come out of his room. Everyone is used to leaving a message on the client’s phone about up coming meetings and a quick call to remind them. With no phone, that system is not working. I stop by his motel room (a 45 minute drive) to bring him food, check on him bring him his mail and et cetera, but he isn’t there very often. I leave a message on his door and he has found someone that will let him make a call, but it usually results in missed opportunities.
Trying to think like a homeless person thinks is really difficult for someone that isn’t homeless. I take so many things for granted and they don’t match up with Aaron’s life style. He has an email address which was created with the help of his case manager when they set up the phone that he was given. He doesn’t have the phone and doesn’t know how to use an email. He doesn’t know how to use the internet. Once again, I need to get him a phone and help him learn how to use the internet and an email address.
I also have been helping him with his Social Security account which gives him $50 a month loaded on a credit card. They just sent him a letter( care of my Monmouth County address) to indicate that they are reviewing his case and planning to suspend his payments because he hasn’t responded to their requests for information. His initial claim was processed with his mother’s address in Gloucester County, his mail is sent to my address in Monmouth County and he currently lives in temporary housing in Camden County. No wonder they want to verify his information. I have a phone meeting scheduled through my phone number on December 8th at his case manager’s office in Camden. I also managed to get him to sign all of the forms and I sent them to the Monmouth County office and I hope they get everything.
I am not his Representative Payee so I can’t officially respond for him and I can’t help him set up an on line account because only the individual is allowed to access this information on line. One step at a time and a positive attitude will move us forward. On the positive side, I do believe he is doing everything possible to make this work, Unfortunately, he just doesn’t have all of the skills and technology necessary to move this forward on his own, but he is on a lot of different prayer lists and I am committed to help him.