59-year-old Alfonso has an intellectual disability and functions at the level of about a 5-year-old. For the first 57 years of his life, Alfonso’s mother was an attentive and careful caregiver. When she passed away two years ago, he remained in the home he shared with her for his entire life. Alfonso’s four adult siblings took turns staying at the house with him, making sure that he was safe and that his basic needs were met. However, the siblings were unable to financially maintain their mother’s home and the bank foreclosed on the property.
Alfonso’s sister, Theresa, petitioned to become Alfonso’s guardian so that she would have authority to move him into a supported living environment. CVLS was appointed as GAL in the matter, and Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP) attorney, Michael Oquendo, took the case. When Michael visited Alfonso in December, Alfonso told Michael that his mother had not passed away, but was just out on errands and would return shortly. Some of the other siblings stopped by during the GAL’s visit and expressed their gratitude that Theresa was willing to step in as legal guardian for their brother. The siblings worked together and Theresa told CVLS that she doesn’t know how her mother did it on her own all those years.
With Michael’s recommendation, the court appointed Theresa as guardian at the beginning of February. In Alfonso’s mind, his mom is still alive, and the transition out of the home he shared with her for more than 55 years will be a difficult one. But with the help of CVLS GAL Michael the family has one less thing to worry about.