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Monday, May 16, 2011

Hey! You! Get Out of My Way! Part 9 Leaving Home

For the next several months I settle in to life at the Equinox shelter. I rise early in the morning, eat and take the city bus into Guilderland. The stop is located 45 minutes away at a strip mall called Stuyvesant Plaza.
Once I arrive, Kerry meets me and drives me to school, she will then take me back at the end of the day. Kerry does this day in and day out, never once asking for anything in return. I am happy and have very little stress in my life. I haven’t been fighting with anyone and the constant battles with my mother seem to be in the past.
It is now the six month mark and me and Jay T. Tucker are the only ones from the original group to still be living there. My social worker Donna has been trying to find me a permanent home but it has not been as easy as you would think. According to them, I’m not a problem child, so it will be harder to place me. One place that sounds good to Donna is Parsons Child and Family Center. Their main headquarters are located in Albany.
One day Donna takes me over to look at their school and their facilities. The main buildings for the center are located off of New Scotland Avenue. As we climb out of Donna’s car she tells me that Parsons has group homes in both Albany and Saratoga and an independent living center just in Albany.
We are let into the building by security. There seems to be security guards posted everywhere. One guard walks us down long hallways that have looked doors and each end. There is more security posted in front of them. So far this does not seem like the kind of place I want to be left at and I look at Donna. She seems to be as nervous as I am.
We are then lead into the director’s office. She is a large woman dressed in drab blue. I guess she thought that black might be to dowdy for this institution. She smiles at us and I feel that it is just for show and she seems more uncomfortable doing it, then we do seeing it. I feel that Donna and I might as well be Hansel and Gretel.
She motions for us to take a seat with a sweep of her hand. Pulling out the chair I read the name plate, her name is Margaret. Noticing that I am reading her name plate, she smiles again. My stomach drops. “I have read all the notes in his file,” she says looking at Donna and leaning back in her chair. “I think that this might be the perfect place for him.”
Donna smiles and asks when a bed would be ready. Margaret reaches across the desk and opens a large black ledger book. She flips the pages furiously. “In about a month.” She says. Donna and Margaret discuss formalities. “Is he a ward of the state?” I hear her ask. “At this time he is but we have registered to make him an emancipated minor, and luckily that hearing takes place in front of the judge in two weeks.”
To be continued……….

Geoffrey Doig-Marx holds all written and electronic rights to his writting "A Day in the Life". It can not be reprinted in part or whole without his written consent.

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