Help for autistic man in elizabeth

There is a middle age man in Elizabeth who has no one to help.  His mom died about 5 years ago and he's been on his own, even becoming homeless for a time.  He is diagnosed with autism and intellectual disability...although he often seems more capable that may people with typical abilities.

He is a client of DDD (NJ Div Developmental Disabilities), but not surprisingly is being neglected by them and agencies paid with tax dollars to help him.  He is begging strangers for help.  I am mostly homebound and on SSDI.  I do what I can.  Another good samaritan tried to convince him to give up his section 8 voucher and make himself homeless so salvation army would help him....luckily he didn't fall for that.

The county social service agency is sitting on his SNAP application for the last 2 months.  A food bank said they would deliver to him monthly (he doesn't have transportation), but forgot about him and is not responding.  Someone else bought him food this month.

I've contacted DDD twice on his behalf explaining the needs he expressed and suggesting they contact him.  He is not understanding who he needs to contact there.  As far as I can tell, they have done nothing.

There is a limit to what I can do on his behalf because I have no legal authority.  I just attempted to contact his state reps for help.  Hopefully they will get back to me and nudge DDD to do their job.

Does anyone know any non government agency that will advocate for him....I tried autism NJ and Aspen.

Does anyone have a 1 bedroom apartment for rent.  His voucher covers $1471 in most towns (some pay a little higher).  It is issued by Elizabeth.  He would have to 'port' it to another area which takes extra steps.  His current apartment is not safe.  His upstairs neighbor was murdered and another neighbor is a complete nuisance...his landlord is a slumlord.  he's not picky about where he lives....but there are transportation issues right now...public bus isn't viable and he can't afford it anyway (paratransit also charges).  He can't walk far, but can manage about a mile when absolutely necessary to get to a grocery store.  He has a cat and dog that are emotional support animals he will not give up.

he is eligible for medicaid transportation to the doctor, but isn't understanding.

his support agencies are supposed to be helping him with these things....

I am getting him on senior housing lists (the ones that take people on SSDI under 62) and there is a new building going up in red bank that would be perfect...but it will be 2 years and only 32 apartments--its specifically for people with autism and will have on site support.

i got him approved for the $450 ANCHOR check.

He needs clothes. He said he is a 6x, but didn't mention a pants size other than that.

he wants to work....but without transportation, it has to be near his home.  i did find a good work training program specifically for people with developmental disabilities...but again...his support worker needs to arrange that.....

In my experience (3 instances) adult protective services is 2 cases the people ended up the hospital...1 because he couldn't care for himself and the other from abuse from others.

There is a DDD abuse hotline....but it won't go well reporting to them that they are the ones engaging in neglect...

I worked in the disabilities field from 1987 until I became disabled in 2008.  I am getting the same level of help from NJ div disability services....long story...but it actually meets criminal definition ...but no one stops the abuse....they only enable it.

DRNJ isn't helpful....I'll leave it at that.

We both tried CHLP for different reasons...and point in trying is legal aid for the disabled, yet they refuse legally required simple disability accommodations that cost them nothing but a few minutes time.

I personally know 2 PWDs that died after being neglected by the 'help' and stories of many others....often no one is even fired....even less often is someone criminally charged...

a private pro bono lawyer would be great.  he is phone phobic and needs to communicate via text or email (his typing can be bad, but decipherable, especially when he is frustrated with the help he is allegedly getting)..> aid for the disabled--refuses to use alternate communication, they demand a phone call.

he is quite capable, but seems to get a mental block from the stress of dealing with the 'help'

I don't know if a mobility scooter would help him or not...i didn't want to bring it up to him unless it was a viable option to get one....but if anyone is looking to donate a used one (with a good battery as he can't afford new ones)..i know they normally sell for about $600 in good that is asking a lot...he is a mile from shoprite.

also, his doctor won't even sign off on accesslink/paratransit even though he is eligible (i don't want to give exact details).

i know of a charity that might provide him a brand new scooter...but without his doctors cooperation, he can't apply.

NJ DCR and USDOJ have proven to be a  waste of tax dollars...too much to get point in filing civil rights complaints when agencies like CHLP blatantly violate ADA and NJ LAD....courts even do it....they ignore ADA requests.....and then implement an opposite accommodation that directly conflicts with the requested accommodation...and no one does anything about it...

i tried the independent living center....

the 2 that died had their families advocating for them...the one care taker was a nurse who didn't even notice the man stopped breathing.....and was just handing him over to his father as if nothing was wrong....

There is a program in Livingston that works specifically with the autistic.  I don’t know the name but could try looking it up if you think that may help.  There is a program in South Orange that works with the developmentally disabled which is another possibility.  Many municipal and county senior transportation programs also serve the disabled.  You can check with government of Elizabeth or Union County to see if they can help with transportation needs and if so how that would work.  Does he qualify for meals on wheels where he lives?  Service tends to be by County.  I think Sage handles the program in Union County. Elizabeth has an age friendly initiative.  While you write that he is middle aged, they still may know of resources that would be of help here.  There is a program now serving Essex County that will provide urgent care in the patients home and is covered by most insurance.  Does Union County have something similar?

joy dew in livingston, but it's far for him and outside the county (Union).  even if he does use AccessLink or Union County Paratransist, probably not feasible.

There are programs in Roselle and Cranford that are near him for work training/placement.

I looked up the senior transport and it indicated he wasn't eligible....the county is Union County Paratransit.....maybe viable at some point, but they charge $6 per round not viable on a regular basis until he has a job to pay for it.  His SSDI is too much to waive the fair (he gets Disabled Adult Child benefits)..

and again he is so overwhelmed and stressed he is not understanding that he can apply and use it for things like going to the food bank to get free food.

NJ Transit AccessLink is violating ADA and NJ LAD and refusing to communicate with him via email/text. ...even though they have email.  He needs his support worker to help him with the phone call...and they can't be depended on...and I assume there is a fee to use that.

Meals on Wheels is strictly seniors and the meals are AWFUL.  You also have to actually be home bound supposedly.  My neighbor used to get it, only because she could only get out with the help of others such as her son picking her up.  They do ask for a fee, but I think they will waive it.  I looked into it for myself ( I am also too young and can get out for basic necessities, but can't really cook and have to depend on expensive convenience food) ).  The menu is like bad hospital food. I get the impression he has food aversions because of the autism (sensory processing issues) and the menu would be a problem for him....there is no choice of meals.  Sage is western Union County...Elizabeth is handled by another agency--I don't remember the name off hand.

I never head of in home urgent care for Union County..apparently he lives near an urgent care...but he had to walk there sick when his ride didn't show up.  i don't know how far it is.

South Orange is Jespy House.

(w meals on wheels--my neighbor at that time --maybe 10 years ago--would throw most of the food out because it was not palatable.  another person refused to even try after looking at the menu....may be better in other areas though..i forget what town the other person lived in)

NJ Transit AccessLink is the paratransit alternative to local bus service.  It requires that the person using it live no more than 3/4 of a mile from a qualifying local bus route and that the person's destination also be within 3/4 of a mile from a qualifying local bus route.  I assume there is sufficient local bus service in Elizabeth for this to be feasible.  There are parts of Maplewood that do not meet this requirement.  According to AccessLink, fare is comparable to what would be charged if the rider were taking local bus service, so may not be economically feasible.  AccessLink also requires advanced registration for the service including medical certification that the rider be physically incapable of using existing local buses, many of which are kneeling.  It does not sound as if your friend would qualify.

I am sorry none of my suggestions would work.  It sounds like your friend would benefit from the services of a caseworker who is familiar with resources he would need and skilled in obtaining those services for him.  Sorry I could not be of more help.

i know about accesslink....they refuse to let him apply because he can't communicate by voice phone calls and needs text or email to communicate.  its a blatant violation of ADA and NJ LAD...but the law doesn't protect the poor.  Doctors refuse, legal aide for the disabled fefuse to follow the law., the courts refuse to accommodate.  i had a domestic violence issue.  There are DOZENS of suggested court accommodations for various disabilities....but the judge said on record the court should only be able to require wheelchair access....and enabled my ex to use it as a tool of domestic life is actively in danger because of it...and the agencies that are funded with tax dollars only enable it....USDOJ only sent a form letter after 18 months saying they don't have the resources to investigate...and what is more serious than a COURT violating civil rights?  NJ DCR is worse.  Complying with ADA/NJ LAD is voluntary when the PWD can't afford a private lawyer.

Yes, he medically qualifies.  I indicated that.  I am not going to post his specific private medical info re that. (he has publicly posted  he is autistic/intellectually disabled so I am okay with repeating that).

it is not limited to being 'physically unable'  for example if someone with a mental disability cannot use a regular bus for safety reasons, they are eligible for accesslink/paratransit.

That is what i was looking for...some sort of advocate to get him the services.  He has a DDD assigned caseworker...neither DDD or the case workers (from private contracted agencies) are doing the job taxpayers are paying them to do....which is usual....they actually spend more time arguing with clients than it would take to do the job right in the 1st place....I once spent 3 days (a few minutes each contact) begging a person to help when she could  have done the task in 3 minutes total....and never got the help.

He is capable of managing on his own...the problem is the people that block him from managing like the SNAP office sitting on his application for 2 months.  They give preference to people that can do phone interviews....that is a blatant violation of ADA and NJ LAD.  Tried filing a complaint with USDA discrimination office...they refused the complaint because he can't do a phone interview with them....and refused to accommodate his disability....another agency that is supposed to enforce anti discrimination laws is violating the laws.

I may have just found an avenue to try...although I am not hopeful...everything else has failed...there is an ombudsman out of the treasury department instead of human/disability services office....I'm giving it a try.....

they refused the complaint because he can't do a phone interview with them....and refused to accommodate his disability.

Would he be able to participate in a phone call with someone advocating for him at his side?

I was thinking of Friendship Circle but they may work with younger clients.

PeterWick said:

Would he be able to participate in a phone call with someone advocating for him at his side?

i don't think so unless the person was there with him and was the one on the phone with the other agency....which his support worker should be doing....

there really should be no reason people can't use text or email....his typing can bad, but i have always been able to decipher it...that is partially because he only has a phone, not a computer...and i know its hard for me to type on my phone.

agencies can't speak with anyone on his behalf unless there is some legal authority to represent him, so if the person is not with him and there isn't written permission on file for them to's not practical

joan_crystal said:

I was thinking of Friendship Circle but they may work with younger clients.

if you mean this, yes it says kids only....  it looks like it also focuses on Jewish families...

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