On the anniversary of the death of University of Texas student Haruka Weiser, Austin police described Monday what they are doing to help people transition out of homelessness in Austin.
According to data published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, approximately one quarter of homeless Americans suffer from severe mental illness, compared to just 6 percent of the overall population. When the US Conference of Mayors asked for the three leading causes of homelessness in American cities in 2008, 48 percent of cities listed mental illness as one of the top three causes among single adults, while 12 percent of cities listed it as one of three top three causes for homeless families. A study of patients of California’s public mental health system found that 15 percent of people with serious mental illnesses, particularly those suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, had been homeless at least once in just a one-year period.
The picture most of us seem to carry in our minds is of a grizzled older white male who served in Vietnam, has chronic mental health and/or substance abuse issues, and can be seen panhandling at an intersection with a cardboard sign.
The East Austin facility aims to help those with mental health issues and will offer 24-hour access to primary care and behavioral health services. The 40,000 square foot complex will be able to house 50 individuals.
After patients were released from mental hospitals, there wasn’t always a place for them to go. On this week’s episode, we explore if deinstitutionalization was a factor in the Bay Area’s homeless crisis.
According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s annual count, homelessness in Texas dropped by almost 42 percent from 2007 to 2016 – a period when the state’s overall population grew 13 percent.
Americans are seeing more homeless camps, especially on the West Coast. Cities there have declared emergencies over the problem, and debate has broken out about how much tolerance should be shown to illegal camps in public spaces.
The homeless come to mind now, by the way, not only because the city is about to move on the new tent-city, but also because the city council is weighing various budget proposals for a truly long-term solution. The real solutions, which involve mental health care, run somewhere in the tens of millions of dollars Read more
The U.S. has cut homelessness among veterans nearly in half since 2010, thanks largely to “housing first” programs. That flies in the face of the long-held assumption that most homeless veterans needed treatment for mental illness or substance abuse to prepare them to live in an apartment.
Street Medicine, with its mantra, “Go to the people,” has gained national media attention through 2 of its prominent members, Drs. Jim Withers and Jim O’Connell. Psychiatry on the streets, as part of Street Medicine, may strike us as a more unusual, though no less needed, proposition
ECHO, as the group is known, proposed a project that would house 250 homeless people through an approach that prioritizes the neediest people regardless of mental health, substance abuse or other outstanding issues, and provides them social services to address those issues.
As the July 8 pretrial motions hearing for Meechaiel Khalil Criner — the suspect in the death of UT dance freshman Haruka Weiser — approaches, experts are debating what role his mental health will play during the trial.
In the medical world, patients like Baker are often called “super utilizers” or “frequent fliers” — people with a mix of chronic medical problems, mental health issues and homelessness that drive them to visit the hospital far more than the average patient.
Saying that homelessness has risen to historic levels and that the state must take action, California lawmakers will introduce a resolution Thursday asking Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency on the problem.
The need for a safe space for the most vulnerable kids from an already marginalized group is what led to the creation San Antonio’s Thrive Youth Center, which houses and helps LGBTQ youth who would otherwise be on the streets.
California — after spending some $16 billion from the voter-approved Proposition 63 — faces a new crisis with its failed mental health system. State senators and interest groups have proposed a $2 billion raid on Prop. 63 money to subsidize affordable housing for individuals with mental illness and for other homeless Californians. Counties would lose Read more
It was the first homicide on the UT campus in nearly 50 years. Meechaiel Khalil Criner, a 17-year-old runaway from a foster home in Killeen, has been charged with murder.
On a broader scale, the Downtown Austin Alliance (DAA) is partnering with Austin police, EMS and mental health professionals to create a Homeless Outreach Street Team that will focus on the areas of West Campus and downtown, getting to the root of why people are homeless and connecting them with help in a proactive way.
A federal judge said Tuesday that a group of homeless people can continue to fight Los Angeles County in court over jail release policies that they claim perpetuate the cycle of inmates with untreated mental illness bouncing from incarceration to skid row.
For the more than 200 homeless people that until recently lived under a highway overpass in Dallas’ “Tent City,” the nylon roofs over their heads were a relatively safe haven from the streets, the closest they could come to a permanent home.
Weiser’s death last month brought the concerns to a boiling point and forced the university community to grapple with addressing the needs of homeless people in a humanitarian way while pushing for stronger public safety practices.
People can check out a lot more than books at the San Francisco Public Library — they can find housing and mental health care, too.
Sometime on March 24, a Texas Child Protective Services caseworker called police in Killeen to alert them that a teen named Meechaiel Criner had vanished from a therapeutic foster home where he had been living.
Community response following the death of a University of Texas-Austin student last week has been swift. At least one reaction wasn’t so expected: The smattering of homeless people along the main artery fronting campus have been demonized by some.
Despite all the optimism and endorsements at all levels of government, ‘rapid rehousing’—the dominant and much-touted anti-homelessness policy of the past decade—clearly has not solved the problem. But could it be making things worse?
Tent City likely won’t be closed by May 4 after it became clear during a Dallas City Council briefing Wednesday that there is no plan for what to do with the more 200 people living in the sprawling homeless encampment under Interstate 45.
What no nonprofit seems to be able to provide baffles Jane Leifeste. “Housing! I’m so sorry to just keep saying that. Because we are missing that!” Leifeste says. “We are missing programs that will qualify them if they have a felony – will qualify them if they have a mental illness.”