Helping The Homeless With Mental Illnesses. Good Or Corrosive For Today's Society?
by ahymes3562 on March 21, 2014 - 1:36pm
In the article , More than shelter , by Michael Price, we are introduced to the vicious cycle of homelessness and severe mental illness. The article covers what it takes for persons with severe mental illness to get back off their feet should they become homeless. Some facts that were brought up included that 16 percent of those who were homeless possessed some sort of mental illness, and in certain big cities, it can excell up to 35 percent. Another key issue brought up was based off an interview where all out of 17 of those interviewed claimed that they were being discriminated against by shelter programs because of their illness. The article then explains how those who are looking for a shelter want to be treated normally but because of their disease (s) they are treated like children. To escape the situation, the article suggests that if these particular individuals use drugs or alcohol, they are advised to kick that habit and join behavioral programs that can serve as a safety net for those abusers. The article also makes a case for getting these particular people into homes. In a study done by a separate entity, they determined that putting these people into a permanent structure can help a city save money that it otherwise would need to have spent on putting them through temporary housing and a slough of other programs. It then closes out by discussing how some weight can be placed on the individual to stay committed to their programs so that they could get back off their feet.
The main purpose of this article is to drive home the fact that just because there are some who are homeless that have mental illnesses, doesn’t mean they should be treated differently from others. If we can take what the writer is saying seriously, we’re opened up to notion of discrimination still being alive and well in our society. Although it was only 17 people interviewed, if all 17 claimed to be discriminated against, that still raises a problem and questions about all others who have mental illnesses that have NOT been interviewed. In the case of talking about kicking drug use, I believe the writer layed down some concrete options for those to get help, and to stop themselves from being kicked out of the shelters they were living in. I agree some weight needs to be placed on the individual because the programs can only do so much. Another point that was being driven home the whole time was that the ones with illnesses might have their bumps in the road (housing markets are not very sturdy as pointed out in the article, and they may have relapses in their drug uses) but their are programs their to help. It’s just a matter of getting these places to treat them with the same respect and privileges as the ones who are homeless without mental illnesses. Although the article is outdated by a few years, it still brings up the issue of getting those who are homeless with mental issues the help they need and deserve, which is still an issue today. I believe it would help states significantly (as pointed out in the earlier study) to give these people full support. Whether or not that day comes, we’ll just have to believe that our states are trying their best.