“Sometime Johnny Allen wins, and sometimes I win,” Minkow said.
But nothing makes him as happy as talking about his mother and visiting her. When asked his three wishes for this holiday season, his ocean-colored eyes brightened and his face beamed: “Go home, go home and credit cards.”
He lives in his Kendall apartment most of the time, but he refers to “home” as his mother’s Delray Beach condo where he visits every two weeks.
“We have fun. We go out, and sometimes we eat Chinese food,” he said.
While his first two wishes are already fulfilled — he will stay with Sheehan for about a week during the holiday season — he needs help for his third wish. Instead of credit cards, donations and gift cards for leisure activities are requested.
Minkow was born in Brooklyn, where he attended a public school for a couple of years before he transferred to a private Catholic school in New York, followed by another private Catholic school in Pennsylvania.
Once his family moved to South Florida, he also moved into the Hope Center. That was 33 years ago. Here he has made friends and settled into a happy life. Sheehan hopes he will stay at the center. Through the organization, he has grown to be independent.
“He is pretty much self-reliant. He manages. In the other places he was treated like a child. Now he is treated like an adult, which is what he is,” said Sheehan, adding that he made a big accomplishment by successfully transferring from the Hope Center dorms to the nonprofit’s apartments where residents are more independent.
“I don’t want to uproot him. He is very happy there.”