Please help save Christopher (age 26) with Asperger's Syndrome and bipolar disorder who was put on a Greyhound bus out-of-state from Vermont to Florida by Vermont Developmental Disability Services without his family’s knowledge and is now homeless in a strange place with no one to take care of him. This practice of sending mentally ill, or developmentally disabled individuals across state lines to avoid having to provide them with care, or services, is known as 'Greyhounding.'
Christopher was in developmental disability respite care for two days following a hospital evaluation for suicidality, when he told his care takers he wanted to go to Florida. We had a guardianship in progress which Developmental Disability Services was aware of and has now been derailed because he is 'out of state.'
Vermont Developmental Disability Services never checked to see whether there was anyone to receive him on the other end of the trip. This young man, who has never even boarded a bus around town, and cannot find his way from the supermarket door to the family car, was launched across the country on a trip requiring boarding and unboarding, finding gates, and being able to tell time to avoid missing departures. Our family never knew he had left our little town in Vermont, we were told he was 'in a safe place' with 'eyes on him,' until, after calling and calling for days, worried out of our minds, he finally answered his phone.
"Where are you?" we asked him. "Not sure. I think Florida."
When we asked him to question a passerby, the answer came back: "Savannah, Georgia."
Two days, several missed buses and zero sleep later, Christopher wound up in Fort Myers. He is now staying in a hotel where we have had to have police and Adult Protective Services check on him daily. The hotel, however, says they will kick him out if police come again. Unfortunately, Christopher, having 'run away,' and still in a mental health crisis, is now refusing to come home and it turns out we have no legal power to get him back. He is unable to understand the consequences of possible homelessness. We are in terror that such a vulnerable person has been placed in danger by a social service agency that was supposed to protect him. Please help us keep him safe and try to launch a rescue mission.