Restoring a Father's Livelihood: Life After TBI, Homlessness
Organized by: Lucius Peregrine
This is my dad, Alan (I have changed his name to protect his identity). He has Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and is homeless. This fundraiser is to help restore his livelihood.
Anyone who knows my dad will tell you that he's one of the most intelligent, generous, helpful people they know. My grandma (my mom’s mom) tells me literally every time I talk to her how he was always such a hard worker and always so eager to help anyone who needed it.
Several years ago, however, he began to express severe symptoms which we now know are consistent with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Over the course of a few months, his entire personality changed: he became extremely irritable and unable to maintain coherent thoughts. Even his handwriting and speech changed, both becoming more spastic and disorganized. The likely injury occurred nearly over a decade earlier, before much was known about TBI, when he was hit by a massive hook of a crane at a job site. The injury was shrugged off as a bad concussion.
My dad has always been (and still is) a kind of savant when it came to all things mechanical and supported his family working as a mechanic on the complex agriculture equipment and engines of Eastern Washington. As his conditioned worsened, working on machines became a form of therapy for Alan. It was something familiar that let his mind focus. Unfortunately, working with coworkers was not so intuitive, and led to interpersonal conflicts. Conflicts in his marriage soon followed. Despite my mother’s pleas he refused to get help, and within 3 years, he lost three jobs, his family, his home, and ultimately sunk into poverty. He finally lost all hope when his $20,000+ worth of professional tools- his only means of providing for himself- were stolen and never recovered.
For two years he lived on the streets of Seattle as a broken man. After about a year, his camp was destroyed by unknown persons and his few remaining possessions were taken. He was assaulted on three occasions (one time severely beaten) by officers of the Seattle PD. After the third assault, he realized that no one was going to take a homeless man’s word against theirs, so he left Seattle for Eastern Washington - the place he always called home. Since then, he has lived in peace in a leaky 10-foot camper in the middle of a wheat field with no power, water, or sewer, and has no transportation (he relies on neighbors for the occasional ride into town to restock). These harsh conditions and the weather of the east side of the state make this a rough life, but he is a survivor and refuses to be institutionalized. Moreover, the courts have ruled that while he certainly has mental issues, he his “competent” and not a danger to himself or others, and thus cannot be made to go into any kind of government care facility. While this may be true, he is also wholly incapable of improving his situation alone.
The best, most current research has shown that effectively addressing homelessness requires three things: 1) Reliable housing, 2) Access to health and social care, and 3) support to achieve self-sufficiency (ie, employment).
This is why we need YOUR support. My father may not be able to help himself at the moment, but I believe that with these three primary needs addressed, he can begin to make real progress.
My dad has been enrolled in the appropriate government health programs and has a caseworker that checks in with him regularly. However, he is still lacking both reliable housing (1) and a means of self-sufficiency (3).
Our plan is to meet these needs by providing my father with a modest, but safe and functional RV in which to live until he can afford to rent a home, an assortment of tools to apply his skills as a gifted, independent heavy equipment mechanic, and a reliable work truck so he can transport himself and his tools to job sites in rural Eastern Washington. We have confirmed that power and water are both available on the property.
In spite of everything, my dad has always been a Believer, and he continues to have faith that our Lord & Savior will meet his needs. I share this belief, and pray that you may join me in following the loving example that Christ gave us, and help to make a tangible difference in my dad’s life. My dad will likely never live a “normal” life again, but with your help he can live a healthy, safe, and satisfying life. Thank you so much in advance for your generosity.