Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

I left him there, under the bridge that he calls home

I traveled 2500 miles to see my 24 yo son who is bipolar schizooaffective, and homeless. I could not engage him on a conversation with me for he is angry cause I am the one who calls the police and put him in the hospital. I went to him with no agenda on my part. Just to check on him. He did not reject me but says ugly things to me. He took most of the things I gave him. Did not walk away. Not easy to think how long this journey will be. I would like to hear from parents with mentally ill homeless adult children. How do you cope?


@hopeisahead, we caregivers have the saddest stories ever. I’m so sad thinking about your sons situation. This situation resonates with so many of us in this group. This could be one of our sons.

It has been 5 years since my sons life changing episode/hospitalization/diagnosis, and it still feels the same. It still cuts like a knife. The heavy sadness in my heart never goes away.

My son is Schizoaffective. He would be homeless, too. He kept running off and every time I’d track him on his phone. At least he carried it. I’d bring h back home. Getting a person with schizophrenia to trust you, especially the paranoid type is difficult and takes time but eventually you can. Would do anything it takes to get him into a car and drive him back to your home to get him help. Once home, the only way to ge him help is to get Emegency Guardianship and force meds. If the Invega shots work they do last two weeks or a month. They didn’t work on my son as no others worked. He takes Clzapine and it’s been a total game changer. Once he got his mind back then he is on board with
taking the meds. He even takes them himself now.
I’m sorry to say your son will only get worse loving the way he is. Contact NAMI and to find out the various agencies to gat can help you get him the medicine he needs.

My friend’s son has schizophrenia and was homeless for years. I don’t know how she got him off the street. I think he just went with her.
She took him home and it was a 1 1/,year struggle before she could get him sectioned in the hospital and sh signed a paper to have a court appointed guardian given to him. They can often do what parents can’t and they have dad tract resources we can get so easily. They live in WA state and the guardian got him into a care home. After progressing through the program he now lives in an apartment with a roommate and support people that come in to help them and drive them places. So it is possible to get him off the streets and on meds that will allow him to live semi-independently.
Never Give Up!


I also want to add that my son was angry about hospitalizations and mds tgat made him feel worse. He yelled and said terrible things to me. I ignored what he said knowing it was the illness talking and not m son. After he got clarity he is back to the living son I know. So don’t listen to that talk or take it to hart. While getting well, if my son had a bad day he’d ask to go to the hospital and I’d calm him down and he’l him avoid it. Now he hasn’t gone in almost a year. He has previously been in the hospital dozens of times. Your son is young.
Without treatment he will get worse. It is had work to get them to trust you. But your hard work will pay off. He can have a life again.


@hopeisahead Thank you for posting this. My son is not homeless, but I could see it going this way. I am sorry for what you are up against. This is a very difficult illness to deal with. I think my son is angry with me for being put in the hospital and on meds. I think - I don’t know, because he won’t talk to me, unless he needs money. How did you find him 2500 miles away?

My son also hardly talks to me. I know the area where he is because we lived there for a while. He decided to go back to that area. A long story. I fly every so often to see him and always find him. He visits a friend at least once a month. So at least I know about him.

Thanks for your words. I can only hope because I feel like I have hit a wall

mytoni is finally in a state hospital, otherwise she would be homeless, she does ok at one day and then she writes an angry letter. the next, it was hard to do this, thank god for my granddaughter who knew what to do…the police dept knew her, , and yet she cant understand why she is in there, my husband wont have anything to do with her, he keeps asking me why are you doing this, i tell because she is mydaughter , and i love her very much… we all understand the pain , grief, and throwing up your hands at time… but. keep your head up … and go on with your life,

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I’m so sad. I thought it would be different for a parent vs a spouse. It’s the same pain and hard to get them healthy.

I feel you pain! I had to do this when I sold the house my son was living in. I did it because he could not follow the rules and let street people in who were destroying the house not to mention going to jail every other month because the neighbors call the police and had him arrested for stupid stuff.

My son just flew home to us a couple of days ago because the judge could not figure out what to do with him. I hired an attorney who negotiated him coming to our home and dismissing his 2 yr probation if he left the state. My son is 44 and we are in our 70s…after 24 hours if is board stupid but in good spirits …he had been living In his car in Seattle for about 3/4 weeks before going back to jail for 2 months…cold wet and raining before he went in and colder when he got out last week…he agreed to come for the holidays not knowing I agreed to try and keep him with me for 24 months…I only have to let authorities know if he returns …now the hard part…I don’t think he has SK…I think it is drug paranoia …don’t know how to find out for sure but if he was on meds in jail…they will wear off in a few weeks… he also totaled his car before he left Seattle so he definitely was on the street…all he can talk about is getting another car and going back…day to day challenges for sure…

Again, I feel your pain


First, I want to say you are an amazing person travelling so far to see your son. You seem to have tried your best, but with this illness he will follow his own path, which may be very difficult to fathom. My son too has sz and refuses to accept he has a problem and refuses any help with his illness. I live in a rural area and no one is willing to do anything for him unless he is “harmful to himself or others”. It has taken years to wrap my head around that. He has been homeless on several occasions, but is currently at home. When he came back last time he was in bad shape with open sores, malnutrition and persistent delusions. Although he has a small house on our property now, he still lives much of the life of a street person: begging for money and wandering the streets. When he was gone on the streets I was sad, worried, but I must admit our family needed some relief from the daily outbursts that never seem to end and never seem to lead to any solution. I believe that as the mentally ill get older their behavior calms down a bit. Your son is still quite young so have hope that he will change some of his ways. We just have to accept that we did the best we could. Prayers help me and also trying to remember his good qualities. It also helps me to know I am not in this alone, other people are going through similar things and deep down we all love our MI family member and hope for the best.


I can only imagine. My son is 24 and I always ask for how long? I am 60 and my husband 66. This is not the retirement we were looking too. Most people in this chat do no know each other but in a very intimate way we know exactly what are talking about and share in the pain. Thanks for your posting.