@Renegade: Well, some people (not me, you understand) might say that this is simply batsh#t crazy, but I couldn't possibly comment.
My mother always reckoned that people who were slightly mad or ill-suited to, and unable to function happily and properly in open society, but who were nevertheless well-intentioned and posed no real threat to society, were generally best kept in safe places where they could live without harm from the rest of society and maybe fulfil some useful purpose. She said that in the old days, it was unfortunately the lunatic asylum and the poor-houses where they tended to end up, but society had adapted and made the most of these peoples' limited abilities to cope with and/or contribute to society - examples being nuns in convents, monks in monasteries, and academics in ivory towers, most of whom perform often valuable services to their community/society.
In New Zealand, they have broken from a somewhat disgraceful historical tendency to throw anybody "different" into a lunatic asylum, where the inhabitants were then variously abused, tortured and experimented upon, and who then became thoroughly institutionalised and completely unable to cope in the outside world. The break came when the IHC organisation (which grew from the Society for Intellectually Handicapped Children), hit on the idea of putting these intellectually handicapped/retarded or just slightly mad people out to live in houses scattered throughout towns, which the IHC had bought for that purpose. There was an uproar and formalised protest aplenty from people who would fearfully exclaim, "I don't want no crazy people living next door to me and my family!", but it quietened down when nothing bad seemed to come of it.
My house happened to be next door to one of the first IHC houses to be used in this grand experiment. I used to chat to the inhabitants over the garden fence, and I recall one in particular - a woman who was stuck at the mental age of 11 or so. She would stick her head out of her upstairs bedroom window, which overlooked our garden, wanting to chat to anyone in our family who went out into the garden. Apart from being a bit of a persistent nuisance, she was no problem at all - just a child. She died from a broken neck in a fall downstairs - pushed accidentally, I think, whilst playing with some of the inmates of the house. We all rather missed her.