Kathleen’s will provide the opportunity for advancement for the mentally ill through collaborative, creative efforts.
A community to give the homeless, mentally ill a chance to be part of life, not waiting for death to end it.
My daughter Lauren started out her life as a borderline intellectual (a few digits above mental retardation). Her learning disability prevented her from making friends. She was surrounded by a large family, but knew she didn’t fit in. There was support from cousins that helped make her life bearable, but she was angry that she was afflicted and was resentful. Lauren made everything difficult in those days. I was a single mom just trying to make ends meet. My home was not peaceful and tranquil as I had wished. We worked together as a family to create a more peaceful home. We attended family therapy, my son, Lauren and I. Life started to work. The therapy helped create a more harmonious environment at home. Lauren did not feel as alone as she did before therapy. We were in this together. Lauren was happier, she played with cousins and seemed to have lost the anger. It was no longer a struggle to get her out to school.
When she turned 15 she started to experience hallucinations. The psychiatrist prescribed many medications. None of them seemed to work. She had behavioral issues again. She was expelled from the high school she was attending. She was out of control. Lauren was hospitalized numerous times. When Lauren was 18 and hospitalized for the umpteenth time one of the doctors I held in high regard, recommended a school for young adults with the problems Lauren was exhibiting, the repeat hospitalizations for uncontrolled actions. It was a major decision I found difficult to make. In retrospect, it was one of the smartest moves concerning Lauren, I ever made. I enrolled Lauren in The Devereux Foundation. She stayed 3 ½ years. Trust me, it was a painful time with her away, but Lauren came home ready to enjoy life. The most significant factor was the complete evaluation to find the right medications. 22 years later, Lauren is still on the main medication they prescribed. Kathleen’s Harbor will have an evaluation process to find the right medication also.
Today, we are not without the drama, but Lauren is in a relationship with a peer. She goes to his apartment every weekend, then comes home the rest of the week. It has been 13 years.
t would be gated and protected. There would be an administrative building that would be the hub. There would be 8 houses with 6 residents in each. In addition, there will be one big house at the entrance for veterans. It will hold 10 vets. Cooking will be done in the administrative building for all residents and staff. The administrative building will have a room for visiting doctors, an employment office, a recreation room, a computer room and it will house the security office to monitor the grounds. By caring for loved ones in this manor their care takers will be put at ease and they will be able to have a life of their own also.