My soul ached, and I felt lost. I was told I couldn’t go back home, and I was angry, for everything in my life had seemed to have gone wrong. . . . Or so I thought.
I was still in Marlboro Hospital, after one whole year. Seven months more than when the hospital’s “court” had said I could go home. But my Step-Mother said “No.” She didn’t want me coming back home. So I was in the hospital “pending placement.” There was no suitable housing out there for me.
Then Project Live came into my life. Marlboro was trying to shut its doors for good, and Project Live was looking for some of its patients (later to be called “consumers.”) They sent down two men from Newark, who wanted to interview me. They were very “impressed” with what they saw in me. So I was offered a place in one of Project Live’s new “Group Homes.” After seeing the house and meeting some of their people, I was SURE I had found the answer to my prayers, and a couple of weeks later, I moved into my new home.
Project Live was wonderful to us (I had 3 other roommates in the house then) from the very start. Although we were all scheduled to attend the day program at the “Guild” we had to wait a month to settle in, for it was all so different than being in the hospital.
Project Live took us to our doctors, food shopping, social gatherings at their other residences, and even for occasional drives here and there. I began to feel a part of life again. . . not such an outcast.
Several years later, after I had lived a in couple of other places, Project Live had turned my former group home into their 1st house in their “Independent Living” program, and offered it, as such, to two other ladies and me. We had the whole 3-bedroom house to ourselves. It was like being free again. I am still here, and it is now considered the 1st house in their “Supportive Housing” division. They have added about 20 other projects since.
Although I thought I’d never be able to work again — even at a volunteer job — in 2003, a new drug was placed on the market. My “old” medication had stopped working, and so I had been in the hospital for a week when the doctor there introduced me to this new “med.” One week later I returned home feeling much better. I have steadily gotten better, and in 2006 I found a part-time job. Six years later, I’m still working for that insurance company, and have come to believe that “the sky’s the limit.” Anything is possible.
Project Live continues to take all of us shopping, and whenever I need a ride to a doctor appointment, or something else important, our case worker tries to fit me in. (This applies to all of us, too.) The “MTM” (maintenance crew) is constantly working either in our house fixing things that need repair, or outside cutting the grass, shoveling snow, or doing some other necessary project to keep our house looking and operating at a top-notch level.
What would I have ever done if they had not come down to Marlboro way back in 1992? I have no idea. Where I’d be? . . . I don’t know that either. But I DO know that I am forever grateful to Project Live. Thank you, Project Live . . . and God Bless!