These were people who had been sent to, given to, awarded to or sentenced to live a life in a place that is not often spoke of nor recognized by many members of our society.
I once asked a member of this community who had lived there from the age of 11 to at that time 86 if he ever thought of leaving it?
He answered this way...
"Why would I ever want to? Everyone, Everything I know are within these walls.
All my friends are in here, those
who care for me and love me are here.
My enemys are out there, those who don't want me, don't understand me or even try to care..
Why would I ever want to go outside these walls? These walls are not my boundries, these walls are my guardians. And I would have it no other way."
I sat and thought about what he said and I started to say "But it's so much better out there! But as I sat there and watched him look out his window enjoying life as he had always known it, I got to thinking and I asked myself. Just What is out "there" that makes it so Great?" Distrust, Stealing, Murder, Wars, Hatred, Bigotry, Racism and many, many people who put themselves before others. A world where what is expected of a person in many cases are guaged by their "worth".
Later our government decided that we could not "afford" the cost of keeping these institutions open. It didn't matter what was the "best" for these people who had depended on us to take care of them. Now it was the needs and wants of "us" not "them" that was more important. So we sent many of them out into the streets of "our" world to fend for themselves.
Years later I watched a man walking aimlessly down a street in the city where that State School had been and for a second I thought it was him. I circled the block and by the time I got around to the place the man had been, he was gone.
I realized then I had to know. I went back out to the school grounds and
wandered the cemetary until I found him.
He was still home... He was still safe.. Within his walls of protection... A very lucky man.