When I am out and about and the subject of Jonathan comes up, many people ask me why he is still living at home at the age of thirty two. The question always asked, “Aren’t there programs and residential places for him?”
“Yes, there is.” I explain, “but they are not free or cheap (and some of them are no good, but that’s another topic). Someone has to pay for it and it’s me and you, the tax payer who does, through the Medicaid system. Since there are about 20,000 people on a wait list for developmental services in the state and Medicaid is struggling, while simultaneously Florida is facing the same economic crisis as the rest of the world, there is not enough money to go around.”
I recently decided that in spite of this gloomy scenario, it can’t hurt to ask and requested the application needed to raise Jon’s funding level so we can have him spend a few nights a month at the Duvall Home (where he attends an adult program a few days a week – when I can get him there!) with a long term goal of slowly adjusting him to move in permanently at some point. There aren’t words to express how good this could possibly be for him and us and also the peace of mind it would give us knowing he is in a safe and secure place, especially as the years continue to fly by.
I received this document shown above which outlines the criteria for increased funding from the Florida Agency For Persons With Disabilities. As you can see there are three crisis categories, that should we fall into any one, has to be heavily documented by all sorts of folks who have a long list of letters behind their names but may be short on the experience of actually living 24/7 with a guy like Jon.
Our situation doesn’t warrant any of these qualifications and quite honestly I’m thankful for that. Jon is not homeless, he is not a danger to anyone and we are still able to care for him. But that doesn’t mean that as an adult, he shouldn’t have the choice to move on, have more to look forward to everyday, more opportunities than we can provide for him and the chance to have the best possible life, something besides hanging out in his room and with his mom most of the time.
If we sold our house and lived under a bridge in our car, while Mike continued to work, we might barely have the resources to place Jon at Duvall full time. Obviously, that is not an option, but I am formulating information and a plan in my mind to move forward with this request. We don’t fit the qualifications listed here, but like I said, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
My God is a miracle working God so I will bathe it all in prayer, hope for favor from some decision maker in an office up in Tallahassee and see what happens.
Will keep you posted.