Saturday, November 12, 2011

Project Bring Joseph Home...

Some of you may recall that I have a son who is homeless. It has always broken mine and my husbands hearts that we cannot help him. We have tried in the past, but his drinking and mental illness can get in the way.

However, lately he has been on my mind and I must confess that I am a terrible mother. He called me awhile back while I was in training and I wasn't exactly thrilled to hear from him. You see, Joseph usually only calls when he is drunk and then rants and raves cursing and yelling at people around him and it upsets me.

I attempted to call him back, but the number I had never picked up. A few days later as I promised, I sent him a Visa card to purchase some new shoes. He purchased much more than shoes and refused according to his aunt to spend the rest on a nice dinner as I had planned him to do, instead he purchased some tv dinners he can heat up at a friends.

I am not proud of the fact that at times I do not want to talk to him, he is my son and the Lord knows how much my family and I and his dads side of the family has tried to help him...he just refuses to get help.

Years ago his brother gave him a place that had rent paid for several months and his social worker and I worked closely to get him dental help...they could never take him to the dentist because he was always drunk. It broke my heart, fight after fight, round after round I battled for and with him. Without success.

I fought all the way to the governors office in California, we got him into a group home, he got himself kicked out. They put him on medications that made him to slow, to fast, to quiet or to loud...he stopped taking them and got himself kicked out of home after home. Back to the streets.

Then came Diane and her husband...his best friends parents, they took him in and gave him a place to live as long as he wasn't drunk. He helped around the house, helped with the yard and then one day, he came home from grocery shopping with Diane and watched her husband pass away in front of them. Diane persevered until she could no longer afford her home. When she moved, Joseph was back on the streets.

Diane will never know how grateful I am to her. We would talk and she would always have Joseph call home when he was sober.

He found a dog, loves that dog and takes care of it better than himself. He has been beaten senseless over the dog as other homeless have tried to steal it from him...I even bought the dog a coat last year to keep it warm and dry. Joseph cried!

His brother who is in training as a drug and alcohol counselor pulled some strings and had him placed in an alcohol rehab center...less than 2 days later, he checked himself out and was back hold the 'why lie,' sign up and his brother was a block the other way holding the sign that said, don't give money to the homeless guy.

His aunt and uncle have offered to take his dog in if he will get help. He won't leave it with them.

His local paper has printed stories on him, people have said some pretty ugly and nasty things about him...all untrue because they don't know him. They have said he is on drugs (never once has he used drugs..alcohol, but not drugs), they said he is a felon...(another lie), his greatest crime? Being homeless and having no place to go.

I have talked to officers in the area, he is the most pleasant, well dressed (thanks to others who care) homeless person they know and if they don't see him for a few days, even they start asking about him.

Yesterday on the drive home, God spoke very loudly to me...Joseph needs to come home. When I got home about an hour later, my husband told me...I have been thinking about Joseph alot, we need to help him before something bad happens.

I have never hidden behind my words, never pretended to be more than who or what I am and I am not about to start now. Peeling my layers and talking to you about them is who I am and it is cleansing. Many of you will think I am a horrible parent. Many of you who have come to know me over the years, will pray for me and love me in spite of my short comings!

I do not expect any of you to understand this. I do not expect you to buy me a home for my son, but I am asking for prayers for Gods will to be done and if you would like to contribute to help bring Joseph home, please contact me and I will tell you how to contribute.

This is a real effort, not a know me, I do not scam people. I just sold my Dutch Oven, so the opening money I have is $10 towards this project so far. If you feel you want to help, please add this to your blog.

I know it won't be easy, I know the struggles we face and Joseph faces...we first need to find a home and it has to have some land, some place for his dog to run and a garden or yard to keep him busy.

Please pray for this to happen! I believe I know now why God brought me home and it is because I need to bring my son home! ** I will be updating his photo as soon as I find one of him in later years, I am not posting this to gather sympathy**


Anonymous said...

I myself have an alcoholic brother as well as haiving an alcoholic father before he passed away. You can only help those who let you. There is a saying you can know my story but you will never know my heart at the time of it. I have an idea, how about we have a linky party for an online auction for some sewing materials. Just an idea.

Quiltingranny said...

I love it Debra, what a great idea! Does anyone know how to do a linky party and how to do one of those money raised gauges on the side bar?

Love Of Quilts said...

The party sounds could do this with your fabric instead of a giveaway. So sorry to hear about your son. Trish

Kim-A Creative Spirit said...

My heart breaks for you sweetie. My father was an alcoholic but did not have the added mental issues that your son has so he was able to provide for his family but just wasn't there as much as he should have been. My prayer is that you will be able to bring him home and get him the help he needs.

karen said...

I will be praying for Joseph, first of all. That he will see, and understand the self worth that is inside him, even though He might not understand it. I will be praying that the Lord shows you, and your husband favor in the spirit of love, and giving that you as parents are doing for him - but I will be also praying that tough love, in love, will be accomplished in Joseph's life, because there comes a balance between mental illness and out and out disrespect.. Though I dont know your family, I do know what it was like in mine, with alcoholism, ect, and I know there is HOPE , Jean, so don't ever give up on your son, because God is about healing, in ways we might not even recognize, or understand.. You are not a bad parent, by the way - if you were, you would look the other direction at all cost.. You aren't, you are looking upward, and towards the bettering of your son.. this is respectable in my mind..

Deb said...

My heart and prayers go out to you and your son. I'm a social worker who works with individuals who are homeless and have mental health problems. I pray you and your son are able to find some peace and safety. Don't give up on meds. Even though it's a roller coaster sometimes, once they can find the right med, it makes all the difference. And make sure you have a psych. who will LISTEN to him/you. What is working...what isn't.


Melinda Cornish said...

oh jean, my heart aches for you....

Anonymous said...

This is an issue we have not addressed as a nation & it breaks my heart. I always feel terrible that people have no where to call home due to mental illness or substance abuse or both. I would love to help you with your project, but I do not have a blog. My email is if you would like to contact me. Where there is life there is hope. God never gives up on us & we must do the same for others. I will pray for your family. Jill Boettcher