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Adult Protective Services Helps Man with No Place Else to Turn
Usually, Adult Protective Services is associated with protecting elderly adults from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. But it also helps many younger adults with disabilities, medical needs, mental health issues, or substance abuse history.
In the summer of 2010, the Texas Abuse Hotline received a report about Jeff Brewster. Brewster was a man in his early 40s with a history of drug abuse who was living on the streets, severely abusing alcohol, and suffering from a slew of serious medical conditions. That's when APS became involved.
"I lost my job, lost my apartment, lost everything," said Brewster. "I had nowhere to go and ended up at this homeless shelter. I still went out and drank and panhandled money. I had bad arthritis in my legs, gout, horrible high blood pressure, and heart problems. Then I went on a drinking binge for about a week. A nurse who had treated me happened to drive by a bus stop where I was sitting. She pulled up and said, 'Do you have any idea how many people are looking for you?' Evidently, an old friend had come looking for me and put out a flyer with picture on it. She was afraid I was dead."
Brewster said until the nurse found him, he really had no place to go and didn't know where he would turn up. "I had a bus pass. I was about to be out of alcohol. It had gotten to the point where suicide had become an option. I really had nowhere to go and no one to turn to. All my friends told me they couldn't help me because I was too bad off. But Adult Protective Services stepped in."
Arnold Hilder, the APS caseworker who was assigned to his case, said Brewster needed a place where he could live and be treated. "Once we get a report, we collaborate with various community agencies and try to see what we can do," said Hilder. "One of the places I contacted was a local clinic that helps place homeless people. After working with them, I contacted various nursing homes."
Hilder said at the time Brewster didn't have any income, Medicaid, or Medicare. "One of the struggles we have is when a client doesn't have income or has a drug history, it's harder to find a nursing home for them. Eventually I found one that was willing to work with me on the case."
Today, Brewster is being treated for his medical conditions and is drug and alcohol free. He said that if it weren't for APS, he would have had an uncertain future. "Praise God for you because otherwise I may not be sitting here today."