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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sebastian Peters:Victim of useless programs

In a previous article we gave you a taste of how grossly incompetent and inefficient government programs are and that they are far too expensive. Programs that are designed not to uplift the poor and promote self sufficiency, but actually do more to leave people dependant and keep them poor. Its not just the taxpayers that suffer, it is those who are forced to depend on them who suffer and who suffer the most.

Consider the story of Sebastian Peters, born and raised in Manchester NH, from earliest moment of his childhood, Sebastian had suffered terrible cruelty under a father who became abusive towards him and his mother. When he was not suffering at home, Sebastian suffered at school where he was tormented by other classmates for being overweight and later in high schools for other reasons.

Sebastian became isolated as a result of the harsh treatment he received at school. The teachers allowed this to continue and Sebastian became isolated. Sebastian's father meanwhile continued to cause trouble for the family. The parents divorced when Sebastian was 12. Sebastian's mother began to become more like the father and abused Sebastian and his older siblings but he bore the brunt of his mother's anger. She ignored and alienated him when he suffered.

Sebastian's father died when he was 15 and his life insurance policy left both Sebastian, his two older siblings and his mother large windfall. Sebastian's mother maintained conservator ship over the funds until they were old enough, except for Sebastian who did not get to enjoy it when he turned 18. His mother continued to hold it for him but very little of it was used to make him independent.

After finally getting out of High school, Sebastian looked forward to applying for work, getting his own place and finally getting away from his burdened past. Unfortunately his mother would not allow it. His mother saw him as being inferior and no good and took him to a psychiatrist for the purpose of having him declared mentally incompetent. Sebastian pointed out to the psychiatrist that his mother had helped keep him in a hostile environment where he was abused by the school and that his mother kept him in isolation. He was forbidden from going outside and only after he was 20 was he allowed but under tight restrictions. He had very little if any social contact as a result.

As you can imagine, the psychiatrist did nothing about it. When Sebastian brought up that he was not allowed outside of the home to do normal adult things and interact, and that his anxiety and depression were caused by being restricted and isolated and not allowed to live independently, the doctor ignored him. The psychiatrist claimed that Sebastian suffered from Asperger's disorder and was emotionally disturbed. Although she said that he did not need a guardian, he did recommend that the mother remain conservator ship over the inheritance and that Sebastian apply for SSI benefits with the mother as rep payee. She also recommended he be referred to government programs. AS for abuse, the psychiatrist downplayed the incidents where the mother was emotionally abusive and that she kept him isolated.

Sebastian and his family moved to Rochester NH when he was 19. He was referred to the Portsmouth based Work Opportunities Unlimited, a government subsidy involved with the ticket to work program. The program was supposed to help Sebastian find a job, preferably a paying job. From the beginning there were many, many problems. First, Sebastian was forbidden by his mother to go out and look for jobs, second, the case workers at WOU had little faith in Sebastian. They told him and his mother at a meeting at their Portsmouth office that they felt he was incapable of working. They recommended menial jobs such as being a janitor at a school. Sebastian refused as did the mother. Then they heard little from them. It took a month after the meeting for them to test his aptitudes and then another month for another meeting to get him to a seminar.

After all this, it was thought that NOW, Finally! He would be in the work force and no longer isolated. That was the last they heard from them for 3 months. From the beginning on, no progress was made. Sebastian mailed them classified ads for jobs but they either ignored him, or said they felt he was incapable of working at those jobs. In addition, the case worker was constantly away on vacations for up to a month. 2 years going on 3 without a job and no work history, Sebastian became frustrated. He secretly went out and looked for jobs when his mother was not around. He applied at several places but couldn't get them since he had no work experience, this thank to the mother and the WOU program.

2 years and 3 months after applying and after being isolated with little chances for going outside, 21 year old Sebastian and his mother agreed to sit in a meeting with WOU staff to demand a reason for the lack of progress. This came after they claimed to have hit new roadblocks. Sebastian's case workers informed him and his mother that there were no jobs around for Sebastian that were suitable for him. In addition they felt he was incapable of working to due to a diagnosis of Aspergers. He was diagnosed solely because of the persecution he suffered at school. They also claimed that he had no social skills or living skills based on the fact that he had no job, and no friends. They also accused him of having no skills in independent living and recommended that his mother become legal guardian to Sebastian and place him in a structured setting in a group home for the mentally retarded.

Sebastian became defiant and the meeting became heated. He told the group bluntly that he was the way he was because of abusive treatment by his mother and that although progress had been made since his graduation from high school, he was still isolated and restricted and forbidden to work at jobs. The money that was intended for him was also being spent down and wasted when it could be used for economic opportunity and independent living. This was the REAL reason behind all the problems. The case workers were not interested and said they saw nothing wrong with what was happening to him.

2 days after the meeting, tension between Sebastian and his mother exploded. Sebastian threatened to leave to go live elsewhere where he could get a job, live in an apartment and apply for programs that ACTUALLY worked. The conflict became even more tense when his mother's girlfriend showed up and partnered with her to stop him from leaving. Sebastian called the police for help but the Rochester police department was unsympathetic. His mother lied to the police officer informing them that he would be a danger to himself if he left home. The police offered a safe place of Sebastian if he cooperated.

He agreed but was not taken to a safe place. Instead the police officers took him to the Portsmouth regional hospital psychiatric ward. While there, he was denied legal representation and was not treated with the dignity he deserved. He was forced by doctors to return to his mother and placed under a strict outpatient commitment that blocked him from getting out of the destructive relationship. He was later placed in a group home in Manchester. The programs he was given were a disaster. They, like the so called Work Opportunity Program prevented him from being independent rather than letting him be independent. The group home assigned him to several other programs that immediately went to work undermining him. He was to take a class on social skills, a class on how to live ETC. ETC. and all of them failed or kept him on the back burner. Here's just how ridiculous it is:

  • It takes about 6 months for government program to teach normal basic things such as mailing out a letter.
  • It takes 6 months to a year to teach social skills.
  • It takes up to 2 years to learn living skills
  • Government programs like the Work Opportunities program in New Hampshire take years to get an applicant a job. Sometimes they fail to even do so.
  • government programs that teach things like how to cook a basic meal can take months.

You get the idea don't you. For Sebastian it was painfully clear. Even if he really needed these classes and seminars, learning that should have taken a few minutes took hours, what took days took weeks, weeks months, months years, sometimes they failed all together. This is what Sebastian Peters experienced during his time on the programs. He spent 3 years under this oppressive regime. It wasn't until sometime afterwards that Sebastian was able to get out of the commitment with help from a legal aid and ran away to Boston.

Sebastian successfully ran away to Boston Massachusetts where he checked into the Boston Rescue Mission. The Mission which was non profit had an array of programs that actually worked. They helped arrange for him to get a job at local temping agencies such as labor ready and referred him to a legal aid for help getting his inheritance back. Non profit programs like those run by the BRM ministry got him back on his feet and helped him get into housing and government assistance.

Unfortunately Sebastian's trouble's did not end... His mother had successfully Spent down his assets and still threatened to hold him under guardianship. The later did not succeed but Sebastian was unable to get back all the money that was taken away from him. He currently lives in Boston where he relies on government assistance and assistance from his relatives. He still works part time at a local retail store and lives in a small rooming house near downtown.

Sebastian Peters paid the price for relying on the government for help even though he didn't want to. A non profit program run by caring individuals would have only taken a few days weeks at most. Instead tax payer dollars were wasted and a bright young man who could be paying into the system must now depend on it.

Isn't it amazing how the left whines about debt and about losing the tax base when they are constantly destroying the lives of ordinary people and making it impossible for them to get good jobs? Isn't it amazing that right wing conservative republicans are the reason for poverty when liberals do more to hurt with their help for the needy the very people they claim to help? With Democrats in charge, expect more of this and expect the government to go bankrupt.


obamabinladen said...

I used to think New Hampshire was a great place. Its too bad that Jeene Shaheen and the rest of this bastards have ruined everything.

Anonymous said...

I have seen the same problem happen myself. My friend's mentally handicapped niece was enrolled in these stupid programs. She was sent to one agency after another who would make her jump through hoops of all kinds of the time. These are time consuming hoops and paperwork and they just did nothing for her. Then finally they tell her that, "oh, you need to be going to another agency." Upon which, she would spend another few months of wading through the hoops and paperwork. This went on for a littleover a year and then they left.

Sebastian's mother sounds like an idiot liberal. This woman can't get it that those programs actually do more to hinder than help.

kyle said...

Tell me about the commitment Sebastian was under? I thought this was normally supposed to be for 3 months not three years.

painted lady said...

This story saddens me.
I personally work for WOU (Not in the Portsmouth office), and wish I knew who the person was who told this young man he could not work. I know if I had said that to one of the people I serve, I would have been fired on the spot.
Please, please know that in many cases these programs DO work, and the success of these programs rely on the level of commitment from the staff member and the individual seeking employment. It sounds, from your post, that Sebastian was very commited to finding meaningful employment, and could have been successful in doing so. Frankly, if someone said these things to him, they should be fired- without question. One of our eithical principles is that "we believe all people can work." If a staff member is providing service like this, even in a different office of the same company, they are giving people like me, who are truly committed to helping people find work a bad name. For shame.

Kyle said...

Hey MSG! I was meaning to ask, didn't Sebastian die a couple years back?

Kyle said...

personally work for WOU (Not in the Portsmouth office), and wish I knew who the person was who told this young man he could not work. I know if I had said that to one of the people I serve, I would have been fired on the spot.
I think the person who said those things worked another WOU office I think around Concord or Manchester. I know that there was this one woman who was case worker at the portsmouth WOU that just sat on her ass all day and did nothing. She went on like one or two vacations a month and just did nothing. She just kept people on the back burner.

I was refered to WOU after high school since I had ADD. It was pathetic! Okay I know there was a recession going on, but this case worker just did nothing at all! She just made excuses! I know that if I made the same excuses I would no be cut the same slack! I basically had to do everything by myself. It took me a year, I did things in the meantime like mow lawns and pro gambling but I got it.

After that I decided I was through with government hand outs! Everytime the government gets involved in something whether its education or finding employment, they screw everything up! It doesn't matter whether you have a moron like Bush in charge or an inexperienced bolshevik like Obama, its always the same!

One of our eithical principles is that "we believe all people can work." That is correct but Sebastian's case worker just like mine are NOT motivated. The vast majority of government workers certainly are not.

Anonymous said...

Something's fishy here...

Boston Rescue Mission Only takes in alcoholics and people relased from prison along with people on probation. How did he get in there? What excuse do you have?

BTW The real reason programs like WOU dont work is because there are no longer any jobs.

Also Im not a liberal. I just want to know how he got in. Sounds weird that they would let him in unless he had an alchohol or drug addiction.

mainestategop said...

No... They let other people in too. They allow people in who are parolees and on probation they also have people released from hosptitals and so on.

I don't remember what conditions allowed Sebastion into BRM but Depending on the situation they DO allow people in. Personally I think itwould have been better for him if he moved out west to middle america.