I don't know why they trusted me. It seemed weird at the time

When I was 19 I was living in my first group home with 7 other people with schizophrenia. The counselors kept all of the kitchen knives in a locked 8"x11" metal box and put it in the pantry. During my stay there I was the only client who they would give the key to to get knives out of the box.

The staff kept all of the food money locked up in a closet on the second floor of the house. They tried to keep at least $200.00 in cash up there at all times for food money for us and emergencies when they happened. This home did not believe in using medication except in serious emergencies but they kept a few bottles of medication in this closet too. They used to give me the key to go in the closet sometimes to get money for them. They never trusted anyone else but me to go in the closet.

The first few months I lived there was one counselor who would let me drive her car across town to see my therapist or to drive other places and once they had me drive a fellow resident to an appointment that he had at the college nearby.

I remember one night the staff cooked dinner for everyone and had a mini-party in the living room for everyone. it turned out to quite a chaotic party and I excused myself and I went to my upstairs bedroom to lie down or putter around. I was alone in there for about 15 minutes and I heard a knock on my door. I answered it and it was a women counselor. She looked at me and said in a conspiritale manner, “Me and you are the only sane ones here, right”? I didn’t know how to react to that one, it caught me by surprise, so I kept quiet. Then she turned and left. I guess the funniest thing was that I had always thought she was bats*it crazy. If eyes are windows to the soul than I think I was right and she was very crazy.


maybe you were the youngest. especially if it was an all-male group home, younger dudes are less… threatening… than older dudes, methinketh. I once chilled in an all-male homeless shelter. also, you knew how to drive.

regardless, 19 is quite young to be in a group home.

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It was co-ed which was kind of neat sometimes. I turned 20 years old about 3 months after I moved in.

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i never been in a co-ed environment before. was going to live in one homeless shelter, but it wasn’t all-male and front desk had basket of “protections”…

kind of scared me, so I left

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