Need Help Locating a Lost Family Member


Hello There!
I am new to this forum, and have been searching the Internet for some type of help locating a family member who is Schizophrenic. He is on the west coast and I am on the east coast. I have the name of his care taker, but that is it. His care taker is listed as a Real Estate Lawyer??? So I’m seriously confused. I only recently found out that he was in as bad of shape as he is and I am deeply concerned for his well-being and want to help if I can. His sister gave me the info. and said that they saw him camped out in a make-shift lean-to under a bridge the last time she saw him around Christmas time last year (2013). She said that it was “closure for her”. Like they closed the door on him and that’s it!
When a person becomes a ward of the state and gets SSI, the care taker manages his pittance of an income. Does the person with mental illness living on the streets get seen by any mental illness clinics or specialists? What usually happens to them if they decline help of any kind? I want him to know that someone from his family still cares. I don’t know how to go about reaching out to him through his care-taker. Does the care taker have to be licensed in state to play that role? Thanks for any feed back or suggestions you may offer!


Hello, Back.

I also live on the East Coast. I also went to the West Coast to help locate a 22 year old schizophrenic who had run away from home because his family required him to see a psychiatrist if he were to stay at home. I made about three phone calls and got this young man on the phone, and he was not too much later back with his family.

Like you say, I have “schizophrenia or some similar illness”. Actually, I am frequently diagnosed as having schizophrenia with alcoholism and multiple drug addiction and prediabetic hypoglycemia and chronic lower back pain. I do well, however.

I also have two siblings who are married to lawyers and a niece in an Ivy League Law School. What we like to say in my family is that there are more lawyers than there are good jobs for lawyers. For example, my sister in law is an underemployed divorce layer who might make an excellent choice as a payee for some mentally ill person unable to handle his finances. She has always been good to me, and through me she knows something about schizophrenia.

I find the “clinics” for the mentally ill are neither especially attractive nor easy to use. I live in one of the nicest neighborhoods of the Megatropolis that goes from Baltimore to Bangor, and let me tell you about our clinics. There’s a clinic here for cancer patients and there’s clinic here for the mentally ill that share the same parking lot and hospital name. I have been to both clinics. The cancer patients have clean bathrooms and nice magazines and working water coolers and coffee and snacks and welcome the support people that come with the cancer patient, whereas the mental health clinic does none of those things.

Incidentally, I have read several books on schizophrenia. The one I liked best was the Dr. Torrey Schizophrenia manual. There’s lots more books that are easier and more fun to read, but that’s the one that gave me the most of what I was looking for.



That is a tough situation. Currently for another type of situation, I’m trying to find out some things and privacy laws can certainly get in the way.

I don’t think the caretaker needs to be licensed for anything to take on that role but I’m not sure. Others could answer that. I don’t deal with SSI but what is called ODSP here in Ontario, Canada. Once my son was set up then the cheques just come every month. So if they were in my name as a payee rep then I would keep getting the money even if he wasn’t here. I think the only way ODSP would know that he wasn’t here would be when it came time to review his file for continued assistance which may be every year but it’s only been 8 months for my son so I don’t know when the reviews are. His ODSP is separate from his treatment as they only care that he qualified for it.

Have you tried to call his caretaker? If you don’t get any responses from this I would say to contact SSI with your concerns. They won’t be able to give you information due to privacy laws but they may be able to step in and find out if this caretaker is taking money that they shouldn’t be getting if your family member is not being taken care of properly. I wish I could be of more assistance.