Man on the Run | On a Roll | Paul Bendix | Almanac Online |

Local Blogs

On a Roll

By Paul Bendix

E-mail Paul Bendix

About this blog: A 32-year resident of Menlo Park, I regularly make my way around downtown in a wheelchair. This gives me an unusual perspective on a town in which I have spent almost half of my life. I was educated at UC Berkeley, and permanentl...  (More)

View all posts from Paul Bendix

Man on the Run

Uploaded: Mar 17, 2015
When a tattooed, shaggy-haired thirtysomething knocked, then pounded, on their door my Palo Alto friends wanted to call the police. But the menacing figure on their porch turned out to be their nephew. Fresh from two years in prison, including a brief stint at San Quentin, Jimmy needed a place to stay. His bewildered aunt and uncle opened the door to him...and a disturbing chapter in their lives.

Paroled from his fifth DUI (that is correct), Jimmy had tried going 'home' to Saratoga. He didn't know that his parents had just moved to Arizona. His aunt and uncle offered a guest bedroom, but Jimmy didn't sleep. He wandered around all night, talking to himself. Next morning he demanded to know why his picture wasn't on the mantel. He insisted that his aunt's laptop belonged to him. Where was his money? He had some around, someplace....

It developed that Jimmy's imminent release had spurred his parents' move to Arizona. He had a violent history. Jimmy had punched out a Saratoga neighbor, assaulted his father and generally scared those around him. His stay with his aunt and uncle was short-lived. A trip to the family's seaside cabin failed to calm Jimmy.

The uncle met with a parole officer. His nephew had to go. Go where, the parole officer asked.

This was a good question. And the answer...for all of a scary one. Jimmy's parents had already spent a fortune trying to get him treated. They had settled a lawsuit over his violence. They had run out of options. Public mental health services are scant. The parole system is overstretched. Everyone had tried. Yet everyone wasn't enough.

What is the answer?
We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other,
on Mar 20, 2015 at 6:59 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

The answer is we go back to the system we had before Pat Brown and Ronal Reagan emptied the asylums. Schizophrenia among other mental illnesses is not curable. It can be treated with meds but not cured. The person stops taking their meds and their schizophrenia returns. They usually stop taking their meds. The only way to protect society and those who are incurably mentally ill is to put them in a place where they can't harm others or themselves.

I can tell you from experience it would take about 50% of the homeless off the streets.

Follow this blogger.
Sign up to be notified of new posts by this blogger.



Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Get the most important local news stories sent straight to your inbox daily.

All-day Indian cafe opens in Redwood City with a focus on takeout
By Elena Kadvany | 0 comments | 12,763 views

Menlo Park Now Has A Tremendous Opportunity to Transform Its Downtown
By Dana Hendrickson | 19 comments | 4,691 views

Polar vortexes and clean energy in the Upper Midwest
By Sherry Listgarten | 3 comments | 3,833 views

Union demands too many: Open up the schools now!
By Diana Diamond | 13 comments | 2,944 views

Premarital and Couples: What Happens in Vegas Doesn't Stay in Vegas
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 2,841 views


Calling all photographers!

Enter your best shots in the Peninsula Photo Contest. Open to anyone who lives, works or attends school within the 650 area code. There are both Adult and Youth divisions and six different categories to submit your digital images. Deadline for entries is March 22.

Contest Details