Voltando para casa

Crossing barriers - Going Back Home

They had to start from scratch: all of them with their particular timing needs. They had to learn how to take care of themselves, learn how to look both ways when crossing streets and try to safely arrive at the stores and ask what they needed. They had to learn how to deal with money: as they were illiterate they had difficulties with money values. They had to learn how not to be cheated when buying things and be careful with their bank accounts. That was a difficult and complex process for them and for the housekeepers and technicians.

Some were able to work,  so that besides the benefit they receive from the Going Back Home Program  (which is guaranteed by the 1988 Constitution  for disabled and elderly people over 67 years old) they receive salaries in exchange of the services they render.  Sebastiana, a tenant of the therapeutic residence,  lives alone and takes care of other tenants.  Valdivino goes from house to house to deliver the weekly groceries:  vegetables, fruits,  eggs and meat.  Élcio  works as an office-boy in an ONG – Non Governmental Organization.  João wanted so much to be a waiter that he was able to obtain a partnership with SENAC for a hotel course.   Other partnerships were obtained with the city craftsmen, so this opened work possibilities for tenants. 

The Program is expanding and surpassing the health services limitations. It is including neighbors , housekeepers, technicians, teachers of different art crafts and businessmen. They influence and are influenced by the psychiatric patients that now walk freely in the streets, spend money causing a raise in capital production. With the benefits they receive, they buy goods and services: they hire house cleaners, drivers, laundresses, manicures etc.

They live with their madness (more openly than we do) and affirm that they can live with it without this being the only thing that is left for them. They are no longer doomed to be mad. They are anxious to live their lives.