Ruby- a follow up

So last week I finally saw Ruby, while I was at the shelter for my psych appointment. She was there for her psych appointment as well having gotten to the shelter earlier then me she was waiting for one of the vans to come and pick her up. She’s staying at the Ramada inn in the Bronx, not far away from the shelter.

Her cell phone has been disconnected because she was unable to find a metro PCs to pay her bill… So instead she got a T-MOBILE plan with a senior discount. Easily enough she could have used her debit card and went on the my metro PCs app and paid her bill… But one of the things that I noticed about Ruby is besides her own mental health problem, she is slow. She doesn’t know how to use her debit card. She is unaware that besides being able to take out money that you can use the card number to pay a bill.

So she told me got a new phone and a new number. I was able to get her number to try and stay in contact with her.

Her appointment was for her psychosocial as well as getting her prescription for her medication.

Her psychiatrist is at her program which is based in Brooklyn, but because of the pandemic she is unable to go to the program because they are closed. Her case manager made arrangements for her to see the psychiatrist at the medical clinic at the shelter.

She is also preparing to go on her second interview for her own supportive housing unit, based in the Bronx. She didn’t seem like she was unhappy about the move.

Her supportive housing situation is different then mine and I think for her it’s actually going to work on her behalf as she over spends her income with financial obligations she sets herself up with concerning her daughter and granddaughter whom she recently had gotten back in contact with with in the last two years.

Ruby used to live with a man in crown heights Brooklyn and then her boyfriend fell sick with dementia and his family decided to move him to Virginia in a home so he could be closer to his daughter.

Unfortunately because of this, Ruby was displaced and ended up moving in with her daughter and granddaughter for a short time in her section 8 apartment in the south Bronx on Fordham road.

The living situation didn’t really work out to well as her granddaughter started acting out towards Ruby, and also her daughter’s boyfriend was staying with her part time. Ruby’s daughter had just gotten the apartment through the shelter system.

Ruby told me that her daughter doesn’t eat meat and lived a vegetarian lifestyle, and unfortunately because you can’t have a household with two snap cases she had to either eat what her daughter prepared or buy her own food.

Also her daughter had a problem with Ruby’s chain smoking and would make her leave the apartment to smoke. Ruby said she was so unhappy living with her daughter. Ruby’s other problem is that she goes to the bathroom on herself and would mess the bathroom quiet frequently or soil the bed.

After having been locked out of her boyfriend’s apartment she was forced to pack up the things things that she aquired while living with her daughter. Her daughter took her to Franklins woman’s assessment shelter and then she was taken to Susan’s place.

Alot of Ruby’s money goes towards ciggarettes and buying panties because when she is unable to get diapers from the shelter if she soils herself because of incontence she throws her underwear away.

Even though we get snap, alot of the time Ruby buys outside food with her income so she pretty much is broke by almost the third week since receiving her direct deposit.

If she is buying stuff she is giving her daughter grocery money or buying gifts for her granddaughter like sneakers.

Before the pandemic hit, Ruby went as far as to go with her daughter and granddaughter to target to buy her daughter a Sony PlayStation 3 that was on sale as her daughter doesn’t have cable TV. She lives off the system, and is going to school.

Ruby disclosed that she got her stimulus check and gave most of the money to her daughter. She also has been spending her money on buying clothes since she didn’t have spring/summer clothes.

So when I saw her she had on a new winter coat she had bought at the target that is right across the street from Ramadan inn.

Non the less she is doing well. I missed her and gave her a big hug when I saw her.

For her needs I think she will do well with supportive housing, but I think it will change the dinamics of her relationship with her daughter, who I feel uses Ruby in Lui of the fact that Ruby put her children in foster care. I think her daughter is using Ruby to get things that she can’t get on her own. Ruby said she kind of feels the same way but feels obligated to help her because that’s her daughter which I understand… But unfortunately she didn’t raise her children… So I think it’s guilt that drives Ruby to shell out her fixed income to support her daughter and her daughter takes advantage of the fact that Ruby is aloof.

I think that whole situation will change once Ruby moves into supportive housing and has to have her money maintained for her. I don’t think she will be seeing her daughter as frequently. Her daughter knows what she doing.

Unfortunately since being in the shelter, Ruby hasn’t put a dime towards savings either. She was very apprehensive about putting money away, afraid that the case manager would take her money orders. So I don’t know how Ruby is going to buy the things she needs once she moves.

It’s unfortunate that Ruby’s daughter is taking advantage of her but what can I say. It’s not my problem or cross to bare when it comes to the situation. I can only hope that Ruby manages on her own and will be comfortable in her living arrangement.

She is supposed to a home health aide help her every few weeks to make sure her needs are met, as far as her medications and her health is concerned, but the care lasped when her care coordinator left her position and Ruby’s cell number kept changing.

Now she has a new cell phone number and I only hope that she will be able to mantain it. She said she was going to try and see if she can get Medicaid to pay her daughter to be her care provider, which they had tried before but her daughter was denied. I don’t think trying again is really going to suffice anything. I had tried to tell Ruby before that her daughter and her have to be living together for that type of arrangement with Medicaid. But my words fall on deaf ears… Unfortunately the information is online, but Ruby doesn’t know how to use Google and can barely read or write and I don’t think her daughter tried to research the information.

Non the less, Ruby will be leaving the shelter system herself… And I wish her the best but I don’t think we will be keeping in contact for very long as I feel that she is going to have problems paying her bill. She has problems navigating and traveling alone, although she was able to get on the 4 train every day excluding weekend’s to get to her program which is for mental health issues and drug abuse.

Because it was only one train to crown heights she had no problems getting there and back. When she was at Franklin, they arranged with Medicaid to have a service come and pick her up from the intake shelter and then bring her back. When she got to Susan’s place her daughter had to tell her what stop to get off on the train.

I don’t think Ruby will be going to her program once she moves. I think it’s going to be to complicated for her to find the best suitable route.

I remember one time in the cafeteria, I took Ruby’s phone and tried to show her how to use Google, but it became a problem once I realized that she even has problems dialing numbers.

So when she got in the van, I gave her a big hug and wished her well, but I knew that would be the last time I would be seeing her.

I have tried to call her a few times but she didn’t pick. When she gave me her new number she told me she doesn’t always hear her phone ring… And I don’t think she knows how to call back. So if her phone doesn’t get cut off hopefully I will be hearing from her but I doubt it.

I have a few good memories with Ruby like on Saturdays we would go to the deli and get food and sit in the cafeteria together and eat, or our long walks to the dollar tree to get snacks and we would talk about what to except when it came to moving.

She always stated that she wanted to stay in the Bronx to be close to her daughter in their co- dependant relationship.

The place where she will be moving is on the grand concourse… Which is no where close to her daughter. So I only wish her the best of luck on her new journey. She actually will be missed in a way. Despite her mental limitations she became a friend at the shelter.

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