homeless man

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.

Treatment first for mentally ill individuals, not housing

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

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