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Autism: The Hunt for Housing

Earlier this week, Aran and I met with a woman named Miriam at the Oakland Macomb Disability Network.  She asked us what kind of housing might best suit Aran, and I learned that Medicaid covers the cost--it wouldn't come out of his SSI money.

Wow.  Okay.

Aran needs to be in a shared home, not in an apartment by himself.  He needs to have other people who will interact with him.  But he also needs independence, to be on his own.  In other words, assisted living with roommates.

Miriam clicked around on her computer and generated a long list of facilities in our area, printed it out, and gave it to me.  I should start at the top and start calling to see who has vacancies and what kind of residents they accept, she said.  Okay.

Today, I started calling.  At the first place, I got voice mail.  Left a message.  At the second place, I got voice mail.  Left a message.  The third place had no vacancies.  Fourth place--voicemail!  Does anyone answer the damn phone?  After leaving seven messages, I got hold of one factility who asked why on earth I was calling.

"You aren't supposed to be calling yourself," she said.  "You're supposed to be working with Macomb Oakland Regional Center. You do an intake with them, and they find out who has vacancies and what residents they work with.  I'm not actually allowed to register you.  I don't know why the woman you talked with gave you that list.  That's not how it operates.  She should know that."

What the hell?  I spent an hour on the phone chasing down bind trails?  I wasn't happy about this.

She gave me the number for the MORC.  I called it.

Voicemail.  I left a message.

I stopped calling other facilities.  I also called Miriam.  Voicemail!  I left her a message.  So I'm guessing tomorrow I'll get a lot of calls.

I'd better.


This morning I talked to MORC. They said there's yet ANOTHER agency I have to talk to: Oakland County Community Mental Health Authority.  Aran has to do an intake with them, THEN he can do an intake with MORC, THEN they can start looking at housing.

I called OCCMHA.  The woman there took some basic information and said someone named Sharon would call in the next business day or two.  Jesus.  How many intakes and meetings and agencies does this take?

Then Miriam from the Disability Network called.  She said she'd never heard of all these steps before.  WTF?  The people =I'd= talked to sounded like all this stuff was long-established ground, gone over hundreds of times.  But this was new to Miriam.

Now I'm waiting again . . .


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