Interesting story about a man being persecuted for swearing. Battling stigma of “mental illness”, the press continue to refer to psychosocial disability as a disease

No room for Mentally Ill

A man who has been battling a mental disorder since he was a teenager is facing eviction from the only stable home he has ever known.

Two years ago, Gerald Schubach, 49, found a decent place to live in Observatory but now the organisation that took him in wants to put him back out on the streets.

Comcare, a charity trust that provides accommodation for people with psychiatric disabilities, has given Schubach until July 30 to move out of their Nuralo home in Observatory for an alleged breach of the trust’s contract agreement.

Schubach, who has now had a taste of living in a comfortable and safe home, has vowed to fight the eviction with the assistance of Annie Robb, a social rights advocate from the Psychosocial Disability Rights Project.

Nuralo home charges R 670.00 a month for board and lodging and Schubach, who receives a disability grant of R1080.00 a month, said this is the only accommodation he can afford.

“This place is my home. Other homes won’t allow animals and I’m not prepared to leave my cat behind,” he said.

“If I move, I could have a serious nervous breakdown.”

Robb said Schubach first received an eviction letter on April 12 for an alleged breach of contract but this was successfully challenged by an attorney at the Legal Resource Centre (LRC) who called the charity trust and told them they could not evict someone without a hearing.

In early June, Schubach received an additional eviction letter for another alleged breach of his contract and a hearing date was set for June 7.

Schubach claimed he received the letter signed by Comcare director Michelle De Goede to appear before the board on charges of telephonic verbal aggression and abuse, including swearing at a staff member on May 31st, and verbal aggression and abuse including shouting and swearing at Comcare offices, where both staff and residents were present, on June 3.

Schubach admitted to some of the accusations and was found guilty. He was then told to vacate the premises by July 30.

“De Goede has told him to move out by July 30, no matter what,” said Robb.

They say they can get an eviction court order because they are service providers and not landlords, she added.

“You can’t throw somebody out because of verbal aggressions,” she insisted.

A source working at the Observatory home, who does not want to be named for fear of losing her job, said De Goede “does not listen to anyone”.

The source claimed it was “a complex issue” and that Schubach was not a troublemaker.

De Goede confirmed that they were terminating the contract with Schubach at end of this month.

“If a resident does not meet his obligation, he is asked to leave,” said De Goede.

She added that they had followed all procedures to evict Schubach.

“We work with people with psychiatric disorders so their perception is disturbed,” she said, adding that they had proposed alternative accommodation for Schubach.

But Schubach said the proposed accommodation, Loaves and Fishes Shelter in Observatory, was only temporary, that he had stayed there before moving to Nuralo home and he was not prepared to go back there. – West Cape News