Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Finding a Suitable Living / Residence for Son in Southern California - Help!

Copied from a PM to me:

Does anybody know of a residence of no more than 10 people, where there is compassion, understanding and sincere interest in EACH person living there;, and where there is fairness and justice, and the staff takes a very sincere interest in “connecting” with each person in residence, that is located in southern California?


My -ethnic minority, son -age 31, NEEDS such a place. He feels so isolated and alone most of the time…wants to be raptured off this planet because “life is to hard” here for him.


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You could contact 211 - - and search by the city where your son would live. You will find a list of Licensed Board and Cares. You can see how many beds the facilities have. My son lives in a large board and care (45 beds) because that is what he prefers. I also visited a small family owned board and care which had six beds. The small facility is compassionate, intimate and has a family environment which can be comforting. If your son has limited income, he should qualify for medi-cal which will pay for his doctor and medication. Good luck to you.


Try this:

I wish you and your son well. I’m very sorry to hear that you’ll have to place him a home at such a young age. Have you tried therapy and psychiatric meds yet though? I don’t know your situation, but I feel like it’s such a pity to give up on him so soon when he’s still young and can have a decent life ahead of him since there are other alternative methods of treatment. :slight_frown: If he feels that way, it sounds like he’s suicidal more than anything. I personally feel that he’d be more isolated in a residential facility than at home, where he maybe seek out a therapist who goes to his house weekly and get some antidepressants. Maybe make friends online or slowly go out to places and meet other individuals? He could join a support group as well. Just some suggestions.


I hope you find somewhere great.

Awhile ago someone on the forum posted that this company had good results for their family:

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Hey terrific parent,

There are Independent Living homes and we had some success with our 25 year old son living there. The one we had him in was about 12 people, two to a room, but it was summer and they did not provide the promised air conditioning. They are private homes that essentially rent out beds. Some have food but most do not. They have chores and rules. There are dozens of them in So Cal and they range in size, condition +++ . They charge for the bed so you can pay out of his benefits like normal rent. No lease and no deposit.

I tried Sober Living homes for our son but even though he was honest about his mental illness, they asked him to leave instead of giving him a warning when he was speaking to himself in his room.


I went through a similar trial finding a home for my 25 year old son in Florida. He was moving from Missouri where he got his first clinical treatment, and I was in Colorado. His sister was in Florida.

First, you know what type of facility is best for him and the reasons for not having him at home. My reason was I was still working fulltime and he need meds multiple times a day that I could not administer to. He also needed doctors that would check in on him regularly and I could not take that much time off work to get him to his appointments.

This is the approach I used to find a facility for him.

  1. Google search assisted living facilities with mental illness licenses - in Florida they have to have a special license or only take 1-2 patients in this category. There was a state listing.
  2. call them all in the area you are interested in- if they are not a good match ask them to refer you. In Florida, there were many that took only seniors. I got a lovely referral.
    I had a list of standard questions to make sure I did not waste time visiting ones that die not meet my criteria.
  3. Go and see them, meet with the administrator, talk to the other residents, trust your gut
  4. check out the community and the things that are there that he would enjoy. The lovely referral had a rec center 1 block away!
  5. call the local NAMI office in the county you are considering… the people you talk to may have referrals or their own personal stories of what places to avoid.
  6. The Medicaid rules vary state by state so call them too!

Earlier, I had him in sober living. The drug addicted community does not understand the mental illness component. But the mental illness community does understand the drug component as often 50% of the mental health patients also used drugs to cope. Often there is AA and NA nearby and other people in the house have the same issues and will support your son.

It takes time- but the right place exists. You and your son will be happy with a good placement. I also told him it was a trial and we would go to plan B after 30 days if it did not work.

Best of luck to you!

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I just live in the wrong state. I did what you described completely - there are only $30K facilities or the ones covered by our insurance are not willing to refer our son into an inpatient. It is what it is and I think it’s time to find a new state. Thank you, however, because I have to keep doing it because I’m hopeful that eventually CA will get it!


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Does any state have better programs? This is a very important issue - but i haven’t heard of any states that have cost-effective programs for families. Has anyone heard of any good programs in any states?

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It is very difficult to find a group setting that is both affordable and someplace you would want a loved one to live.

I like the model of the Brain Foundation of Florida’s Dave’s House -
This was modeled after Laura’s House of the Brain Foundation of Virginia. However the link I had previously no longer works.
Both of these are for individuals who are stable and can live reasonably independently. But the number of beds everywhere is woefully inadequate.

Residential Care Facilities (RCFs) provide a little more care, including med management and meal preparation, but little in the way of programming, other than transportation to local mental health services. Most of the RCFs in my area of the midwest are:
lack privacy;
limit personal choices for residents;
are just plain run down and poorly managed.

I think I have also mentioned that because drug addiction is treated as a mental illness, that many of the residences are also set up to primarily serve that population, who can be intolerant of people with schizophrenia.

Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs) provide a higher level of care, and tend to include more oversight, possibly a locked ward, and some programming These tend to be:
oriented to an older population or those who need more personal care such as people with brain injuries;
lack privacy.

Both of the above options do take Medicaid and Medicare, and typically know how to apply for other available board and care grants that cover the costs. But the care is not what most of us here are really looking for, especially for younger adults. Also, because of the limited number of beds available, each place is able to vet applicants and reject residents who they judge may be problematic in their population.

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Yes - you are completely right.

I have been to Fountain house - and I think they have living facilities and (importantly) job placement programs for people. That might be the best program (that isn’t too expensive) - but it houses perhaps a few hundred people - so a small drop in the bucket of needs. Perhaps if people call them they can share other similar groups that have copied them:

The Clubhouse international program seems to be affiliated with them - have people investigated them (not sure if they have any living facilities in any locations)

I am overall impressed with the clubhouse program model. If my son every reaches better insight into his illness, I will encourage him to attend the one program that I know of in our area.

This is the main sticking point for many of us - even when finding adequate programs for our loved ones, without insight they will not receive much benefit from the programs and will not be considered good candidates for the few openings available. I dropped my son from case management because he really did not see the need for it, so was not really getting any benefit.


He was in Missouri - nice enough group home ( 40 people) tied to a psych hospital ( with transport between). They took SSI payments for rent. Limited hospital services without private insurance as they did not take Medicaid. But the out patient pharmacy took Medicaid. It was rural ( 40 minutes outside of a big town) and getting to “town” was difficult. If you want the name and contact information, let me know.

Colorado where I live does not have these services generally. There is one here in Denver that is small like you wanted - but I do not know the details of cost/insurance. Let me know if you want that name and number. This one was not a good fit for my son as he has not stable enough to live there at the time.

Florida had good choices but you have to weed through the elder care options.

Maybe others have other information they can share in their state. Good luck and keep looking!


If you are looking in the Tampa, Fl area, check out Vincent House. They provide similar services to the Fountain House above.
It is not a place to live - but supports the mental health people transitioning to jobs.

Perhaps this is an option for someone looking the Tampa area.

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I adore your helping us all of us to navigate our challenges and uncover great resources; thank you for all that you do!


Vallpen - I am working on getting our son to go to our local clubhouse; thank you for your advice :slight_smile:

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