The Recruit

Places all over Houston want Trevor Falk and pitch the wonders of community life. He is 24 and has Down syndrome, which makes him a hot commodity for private group homes.

"He couldn't come to my house because I could not control him behaviorally at that time," Linda Falk says.

Trevor was asked to leave most of the private homes for causing trouble, and sometimes the explanation was that he broke furniture, sometimes he slammed a door.

"I picked him up one time and he stayed at my house for three days, and they had him so drugged that I wasn't having problems with his behavior," Linda Falk says. "But he had to go back."

Trevor Falk, a 24-year-old with Down syndrome, was kicked out of 13 group homes before moving to Richmond State School.
Paul Knight
Trevor Falk, a 24-year-old with Down syndrome, was kicked out of 13 group homes before moving to Richmond State School.
His mother, Linda Falk, feels safe with him there.
Paul Knight
His mother, Linda Falk, feels safe with him there.

After Trevor was kicked out of another home, his father, David Falk, went to get him, but none of Trevor's clothes were clean. The dryer in the house had broken, David Falk says, and the clients' clothes were left in the garage to dry.

"There's something wrong with that system," he says.

Another time Trevor was missing his radio and electric razor after he left.

"It was nothing but eight-foot tables, and the clients were sitting there twiddling their thumbs. No TV, nothing," Linda Falk says. "And they were stealing him blind."

Trevor finally settled into a group home he went to, but he called his mother one weekend and asked if he could come to her house for a couple days. She picked him up from the home in far north Houston, and while he was with her, Trevor was quiet and scared.

Linda took him back on a Saturday evening, and the following morning, he called her from a gas station pay phone, screaming for her to come get him.

"I said, 'Where are you, Trevor?'" Linda Falk says. "He said, 'Little store, down the street. Boy hit me; boy beat me up. I ran away. Come get me. Hurry, Mom.'"

After he was sent to his final group home, Linda Falk wrote a letter to his caseworker, outlining the events of the previous months and asking for help. Trevor moved to Richmond State School.

Trevor has thrived since moving there, and his behavioral problems have all but disappeared. One weekend Linda Falk picked up Trevor, took him to a movie and asked if he wanted to spend the weekend at her house. He wanted go back to the state school to be with his friends, he told her.

"He's in a very unrestrictive unit, and he's so proud of it," Linda Falk says. "He feels like that's his kitchen, that's his dining room, that's his home."

paul.knight@houstonpress.com

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Houston Concert Tickets

Around The Web

Loading...