Schizophrenia.com

Semi-independent living

I don’t hear much about this on here. I think I’ve heard it once or twice. In 1983 I got out of the hospital and my parents found me a nice residential treatment home. I lived there almost exactly a year; from Christmas to Christmas. The agency that ran the house also had housing for us people to live in. When we left the residential treatment home they called it “graduating”.

The housing they supplied was called semi-independent living. Basically the agency rented 3 or 4 homes and stuck 3 or 4 of us in each one. We paid rent to the agency. We were on our own but we had a counselor who was in charge of us. He was on-call 24 hours a day. We only usually saw him once a week when each house would take turns holding a meeting with every resident. The meetings were mandatory; it was half group therapy and half business.

But other than that meeting we were pretty much left alone. 3 or 4 mentally ill people living together in a house. We were expected to have a day time activity, whether it was going to school, working, or going to the vocational program. It was a good deal, I lived there from 1984-88.

Unfortunately there was often a lot of drama going on. It was unavoidable. Put 3 or 4 people who are in their twenties and leave them alone and you’re going to have conflict. I lot went on but I won’t get into it. Except the time my frenemy gave me his debit card to withdraw money for food and I took out a bunch of his money and didn’t come back for three days. When I finally came back after a drug binge he was waiting for me with his gun. Anyway, he didn’t shoot me. But that was the tip of the iceberg.