Good Friend in a Bad Situation

I'm sorry it's a long story, but I'd really appreciate it if people would take the time to read it. I'm running out of options. I broke it up into sections so it's easier to read. Thank you in advance...
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So I have a friend I've known since we were kids (over ten years), he is diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. When his parents heard "Autism" they just kind of... gave up. His mother kicked him out when he was around 13 because she didn't want to take care of him, so he lives with his father. Both of his parents, his sibling, pretty much everyone in his family is verbally abusive (None of them have ever hit him, that I know of, although his father has some horrible anger issues), they told him he wouldn't amount to anything and never encouraged him to do anything with his life. He's 28 years old now, he is obese with no job and no work experience, he doesn't have ID, although he has a passport, but it's expired.

His father has a bad habit of quitting his job when he doesn't feel like working it anymore and throws them both into financial crisis. They move from apartment to apartment because they keep getting evicted for not paying the rent. My friend does get SSI and food stamps, but every little bit of it is eaten up by his dad's bad habits.

I've been trying to help him get his life on track (for at least 4 years now). I've been encouraging him to lose weight because it would help his physical health and his self confidence (which is pretty much as far into the ground as it can go). It would also give him a goal to work toward to improve his life. I should emphasize that HE DOES WANT TO IMPROVE. He isn't lazy, he is willing to work to improve himself and he has amazing resilience, but he has bouts of severe depression, and lately it's been much worse than ever before. I can't get him to exercise if he barely has the enthusiasm to keep going...

His only social contact is through the internet, and when the internet goes away (because him and his father can't pay the bills) he freaks out. He can't go to a bar or anything because he has no money and doesn't know how to drive. We've tried contacting disability agencies, but they request that he comes in, which is impossible.
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I'm pulling him away from his family for the holidays and he'll be staying with me, so he can recover, but we live six hours apart from each other and I don't have the financial means to keep him with me permanently, nor visit him on a regular basis. There was once an older women who tried to help him, but his father threatened to kill her. She didn't press charges because she didn't want my friend to end up homeless. I can get close to my friend because I'm in a similar age group and have dyslexia, so can pass for one of his "disabled" friends. My presence is only tolerated and they've been getting more hostile the more frequently I've been showing up. They call me shallow for encouraging him to lose weight, even though my reasons for doing so are anything but (I don't care about their opinion of me and neither does he). We don't have enough evidence of anything to get police involved.
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A little problem myself, his dependency on me in getting pretty crippling, I've been also encouraging him to be independent but (see above). He puts me on a pedestal and repeats everything I tell him, like I'm some kind of Greek Philosopher. I don't want him to think I'm the only person who can save him (at this point it seems like I am), but I also don't want him to think I've given up on him either. This whole ordeal is making me pretty depressed in the process.
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Please help... advice, something, anything. I'll even take a "Wow that sucks". I just don't know what to do anymore. Thank you again for your time.

Wow, that sucks.

Seriously though, I'll try offer what advice I can although I realise our countries are completely different when it comes to helping the unemployed.

You're doing everything you can and you shouldn't be depressing yourself because you want to help him. You have to think of yourself too, if you get too depressed, who's going to watch out for him?
He's a grown man and he shouldn't need looking after. I'm not surprised he's the way he is after his past, but it's ultimately up to him to change.

First off, get him on anti-depressants or something to help his depression. It's such a motivation killer, if he keeps slipping back into it, he's not going to go anywhere.

When he's at yours, get some healthy eating diet plans printed out for him to take home. Take him for a brisk walk and get him into the habit of doing it at least once a day.

I don't know if they have something like this near you, but when my cousin got kicked out, there was a company that set him on as an apprentice joiner and got him accommodation in a B&B which was paid for by them. He got a certain amount of money a week for working to live on.
That's one option, all he can do is just keep trying his hardest to find a job. Preferably one that offers accommodation.
His autism shouldn't prevent him from being hired, in fact it usually looks good for a company if they hired disabled people.

The most important thing is that your friend moves out, his dad is just dragging him further down. Does he have any other family or friends he can live with until he's on his feet?

You have to ask yourself, if nothing has changed over 4 years, how much more of this can you take? You don't want to be dragged down too even though I understand you want to help.
He obviously looks at you as some sort of savior and goddess because you seem to be the only one helping him. If you get more people involved in helping you and take some of the workload off your shoulders, it'll be easier and he'll realise he's not alone.
You can't expect to do this on your own, so please try get some help with it, talk to a Councillor or someone from the council. There's always stuff out there to help disabled people and you shouldn't go at it alone.
Hope it all works out for you and him.

Buy him a plane ticket to a random country, then he'll be forced to manage himself. Thinking about it, when authorities find him out they'd just send him back home.

Sorry can't be of much help, just posted because you only had one reply.

Shut ins are becoming too frequent, I'm kinda one myself (though I'm way better now and have no problem going out, nut still have when socializing with people I don't know), I wonder if there's an institution or something similar that helps these people who can't get out and are prone to depression by going to their homes. One of the problems of having phobia or fear of socialising and going out is that they [b]can't[b/] get out even for getting help. Or at least a site with psychologists online which would help their patients through Internet. The problem, would be that these things would cost money.

Well just have to say, it doesn't sound like something you can take on on your own. Especially if he's gonna start becoming too dependent on you. Do you have any mutual friends who might want to help? I mean obviously the goal in the end is for him to be independent, but it'd be better if he knew he had more than just one person looking out for him so he doesn't rely only on you.

I think Eevee suggesting finding a councilor or something to help sounds like a good idea especially since you're finding it hard to keep him motivated. So go to someone who knows how to get people motivated in such circumstances.

Good luck

EeveeElectro:
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Anoni Mus:
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Master of the Skies:
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Thanks everyone. I'm going to see what can be done in the time that he's staying with me.
We're going to try to find him a job, there's an organization here that specializes in helping people with disabilities. If they can't help, then I think I have a string I can pull to get him a job and a cheap apartment.

Eclipse Dragon:
Please help... advice, something, anything. I'll even take a "Wow that sucks". I just don't know what to do anymore. Thank you again for your time.

I'd have gone with "get him away from his parents" on a more permanent basis, at least to begin with. You need to find a way to make him understand that this is probably the only way his life is going to improve.

As you probably know, living with an Aspergers person carries a lot of friction, and causes a pretty bad atmosphere. When I lived with my parents, my mother and I had bitter, nasty rows (I have a groove in my skull from a radiator she smashed my head into, and more than once she's thrown knives at me) but since I moved out and we don't have to put up with one another - or more accurately, she doesn't have to tolerate my Aspie weirdness as much - we get on really, really well. My life, while still a total trainwreck, is no longer burdened by the horrible pressures of having to live with family and I feel that while I'm still fucking everything up, at least it's my decision and I'm the one responsible for it.

I'm not sure how to go about it, I'm afraid, but I think you really do need to get him out of there. He'll fly or he'll fall, but at least he'll have done it because of his own decision. Other than that, I guess just getting him to the doctor about the depression.

SonicWaffle:

Eclipse Dragon:
Please help... advice, something, anything. I'll even take a "Wow that sucks". I just don't know what to do anymore. Thank you again for your time.

I'd have gone with "get him away from his parents" on a more permanent basis, at least to begin with. You need to find a way to make him understand that this is probably the only way his life is going to improve.

As you probably know, living with an Aspergers person carries a lot of friction, and causes a pretty bad atmosphere. When I lived with my parents, my mother and I had bitter, nasty rows (I have a groove in my skull from a radiator she smashed my head into, and more than once she's thrown knives at me) but since I moved out and we don't have to put up with one another - or more accurately, she doesn't have to tolerate my Aspie weirdness as much - we get on really, really well. My life, while still a total trainwreck, is no longer burdened by the horrible pressures of having to live with family and I feel that while I'm still fucking everything up, at least it's my decision and I'm the one responsible for it.

I'm not sure how to go about it, I'm afraid, but I think you really do need to get him out of there. He'll fly or he'll fall, but at least he'll have done it because of his own decision. Other than that, I guess just getting him to the doctor about the depression.

We've known that his best bet is to get out. The problem is that I don't make much money, so have no way of hosting him on a permanent basis and his family isn't helping. Which means that he's going to have to get a job (difficult with no work experience) and combine it with his ssi, so he can pay for an apartment.

The doctor is harder because he doesn't have medical insurance. He can get medicaid with his ssi, but we'd have to rip everything concerning his ssi away from his father.

Eclipse Dragon:
We've known that his best bet is to get out. The problem is that I don't make much money, so have no way of hosting him on a permanent basis and his family isn't helping. Which means that he's going to have to get a job (difficult with no work experience) and combine it with his ssi, so he can pay for an apartment.

Dunno how it works in the US, but from an English perspective I'd A) apply for Jobseekers Allowance (welfare) and B) apply for Housing Benefit (also welfare). Then he'd be able to get his own place, and the government would give him a small amount of money to live on and would help him find a job.

Eclipse Dragon:
The doctor is harder because he doesn't have medical insurance. He can get medicaid with his ssi, but we'd have to rip everything concerning his ssi away from his father.

Yeah, sorry, I didn't think of that. I was looking at it from my own perspective again; if you need to see a doctor, you just go and see a doctor, and they'll try to help you.

I'm afraid I don't know enough about the American system to offer any advice on that :-/

SonicWaffle:
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Urg you're making me so jealous. I want your health care system.
His family is the major stressor, they're pretty much the cause of his depression. I think if I can just get him away from them, he can recover (slowly). The priority is to get him away from them and get him a job and some kind of living arrangement. After that, we'll focus on cleaning up the rest. I see long long trips to the ss office. He understands this is what he needs to do, he doesn't have any illusions of staying with his family. As far as he's concerned, if he never saw them again, he wouldn't care.

Eclipse Dragon:

SonicWaffle:
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Urg you're making me so jealous. I want your health care system.

Meh, there won't be much to be jealous of soon - we've currently got a Conservative government, and they're trying their hardest to dismantle the entire system. Cutting benefits, trying to force the disabled back to work, cutting the NHS budget etc. Before too long we'll be in as much of a mess as the US system is.

Eclipse Dragon:
His family is the major stressor, they're pretty much the cause of his depression. I think if I can just get him away from them, he can recover (slowly). The priority is to get him away from them and get him a job and some kind of living arrangement. After that, we'll focus on cleaning up the rest. I see long long trips to the ss office. He understands this is what he needs to do, he doesn't have any illusions of staying with his family. As far as he's concerned, if he never saw them again, he wouldn't care.

Does he really not know anybody else? How about his internet friends? If he spends his entire life online, he must have some pretty close relationships with people - I actually met my current flatmate through online gaming.

SonicWaffle:

Does he really not know anybody else? How about his internet friends? If he spends his entire life online, he must have some pretty close relationships with people - I actually met my current flatmate through online gaming.

I don't think he knows anyone that can really be depended on to help in a concrete sense. They do provide emotional support and activities on the internet keep him from going stir crazy.

Wow that is pretty terrible.

I don't know how good my advice would be but first step would be to try and maybe introduce him to some of your close friends. Have them help support him emotionally along with you and maybe if they have the means get them to have him room with them.

Getting him away from his family is another very big one.

I'm not sure how to do this without getting the (usually) ineffective Long Arm of the Law involved or without taking the Law (read: Blunt or sharp object) into your own hands and forcing away the family (not advisable).

I'm sorry you're in this situation and if there is any way I can help let me know :(

It sounds like you're already trying to get him a job, which would have been my foremost suggestion. A regular routine that gets him out of the house and away from the toxic environment you describe with his family could in and of itself be a big help, plus being around people who won't necessarily be as hostile and doing something which has a concrete value. It may even hopefully eventually lead to some kind of financial independence that would allow him to leave his current bad situation.

It sounds like a hard road; good on you for being there for him. Best of luck.

Eclipse Dragon:
We've tried contacting disability agencies, but they request that he comes in, which is impossible

Wait what about public transport? Surely he can arrive via that?

Are you sure he isn't at least a little lazy? If he won't help himself then you may have to accept you CAN'T fix his life, no matter how good of a friend you are.

Wandering_Hero:

Eclipse Dragon:
We've tried contacting disability agencies, but they request that he comes in, which is impossible

Wait what about public transport? Surely he can arrive via that?

Are you sure he isn't at least a little lazy? If he won't help himself then you may have to accept you CAN'T fix his life, no matter how good of a friend you are.

He can't use public transport (I've tried) his dad controls every financial aspect of his life, including things as simple as bus fare. He can only go to places he can walk to. He's been trying to help himself. Applying to jobs and exercising everyday, but it's very difficult for a person with a "mental disability" and no work experience to get a job within walking distance.

Eclipse Dragon:

Wandering_Hero:

Eclipse Dragon:
We've tried contacting disability agencies, but they request that he comes in, which is impossible

Wait what about public transport? Surely he can arrive via that?

Are you sure he isn't at least a little lazy? If he won't help himself then you may have to accept you CAN'T fix his life, no matter how good of a friend you are.

He can't use public transport (I've tried) his dad controls every financial aspect of his life, including things as simple as bus fare. He can only go to places he can walk to. He's been trying to help himself. Applying to jobs and exercising everyday, but it's very difficult for a person with a "mental disability" and no work experience to get a job within walking distance.

What about paying his bush fair to get to the disability agency?

Though mind, don't disabled people get free public transport or am I mixing something up?

Wandering_Hero:

Eclipse Dragon:

Wandering_Hero:

Wait what about public transport? Surely he can arrive via that?

Are you sure he isn't at least a little lazy? If he won't help himself then you may have to accept you CAN'T fix his life, no matter how good of a friend you are.

He can't use public transport (I've tried) his dad controls every financial aspect of his life, including things as simple as bus fare. He can only go to places he can walk to. He's been trying to help himself. Applying to jobs and exercising everyday, but it's very difficult for a person with a "mental disability" and no work experience to get a job within walking distance.

What about paying his bush fair to get to the disability agency?

Though mind, don't disabled people get free public transport or am I mixing something up?

If they get free transport, that would be news to me. I'd have to look into it, but I think that might only apply to people with a physical handicap.

 

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