Homelessness and the psychology behind it.

by mathewdupere on Mai 16, 2017 - 10:13am

Homelessness and the psychology behind it.

Mathew Dupere


360-F1A-LA, section 01831

Gabriel Flacks

Final essay


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The essay talks about homelessness which is a very broad subject so I decided to narrow it down to something more specific which was mental illness. It discusses the causes of the mentally ill to become homeless and what happens after the become homeless. It also touches upon the subject of how both these subjects are related and how they both play a major role in each others development. finally what are some solutions for this problem that are already in place by the government and what could be put in place.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the definition of homelessness is “Having no home or permanent place to live”. Homelessness is a very serious issue in today's society, it is almost everywhere. People are homeless for many different reasons for example poverty, unemployment and many more. In a survey taken by the national coalition for the homeless 25% of the homeless population suffers from mental illness and in another survey in 2008 another survey was taken asking major cities what their biggest 3 largest causes for homelessness was and mental illness was named the third largest cause for homelessness. This essay will discuss homelessness and mental illness but more specifically how mental illness affects the homeless and what could be some solutions. First of all how mental illness can affect people and make them homeless. Secondly, How homelessness and mental illness relate to each other. Finally what has been done or what could be done to solve this problem short term and long term.

Homelessness and mental health are both topics that highly relate to each other, but how do these two topics relate? Well mental illness is a huge factor in causing people to be homeless because of many things. For example because they are mentally ill they have a harder time finding a steady job and are unable to support themselves with money. Which also turns into them not being able to pay for their medication, than they will not be able to find a job. This ends up turning into a vicious cycle which will not let them get off the streets. In Cleveland there was a study saying that about 36% of all patients released from psychiatric hospitals end up being

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homeless because of improper care according to the national coalition for the homeless. Which means that lots of patients being released from these hospitals are clearly not fit to have a normal everyday life because they cannot handle it with support. After this is when the vicious circle starts of not being able to fix the problem because of the medication and money issues. According to “The homelessness hub” Having mental health issues can also cause the person to start distancing themselves from family and friends which will create a gap between the person and the family and friends. The people will be less active in the homeless person's life which means less support and help from them.

Homelessness and mental illness sadly have lots in common. They both play an enormous role in each others progression which is not a good thing because it means both will get worse with time for the individual suffering from both. As I explained in the previous paragraph they both feed of each other as a vicious circle. There are other mental illness that might not be as looked at when it comes to this. For example addiction is a serious mental illness that is one of the biggest illnesses throughout the homeless, according to the homelessness hub from the University of Toronto 14% of homeless men have a dependence and 3% have an addiction. The problem with being homeless and having an addiction is, the only thing you are concentrated on is being able to get money for more drugs or alcohol and all the money they get they spend on this. So the “the vicious cycle” is even more intense because they have no chance to help themselves and since

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they might not have any family ties of friends, they will never get help and sent to rehab or something like that.

The government has done lots for the homeless with mental health issues, for example they have supplied them with homes that reinstate them into society better with social workers who help them through basically anything they need and will assist them in become a part of society again by helping them find a job so they can afford medication and the other essentials so they do not end in the vicious circle.The Huffington post says that the mental health commission of Canada report found that there were 25,000 homes like this across Canada Although this is very useful and a great idea it unfortunately does not happen everywhere. One of the main reasons for this is because it cost the government lots of money and they are not necessarily able to support that cost. The mental health of Canada commision also did other surveys and research, they found that there is a need for about 100 000 more housing units to support 120 000 more homeless with mental illness. Through further research and thinking about past work i have tried to come up with a reasonable potential solution for this. Since it is very expensive to be able to provide homes for the people who are released from these hospitals, they help them from these hospitals for example they can live at the hospital until they find a job and a steady living area. Instead of providing a home for them you can let them live part time at the hospital but you still keep the social workers to follow them through their progress too keep them on track while the reinstate themselves into society.

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In conclusion, homelessness and mental illness do share lots of common aspects. They both relate to each other very much but all in bad ways because both combined ruin lives and make it very hard for people to recover. In this essay we discussed homelessness and mental illness, covering a few topics but the main point was how does mental illness affect the homeless and how could we or anyone help solve the problem. Homelessness is a very serious issue and with the topic of mental illness it becomes very complicated. The community and the government should be more aware of the this specific situations because if not they are almost already lost causes without our help.


Hemming, Nina. "Homelessness and mental health." Mental Health Foundation. Mental Health Foundation , 14 Jan. 2016. Web. 08 May 2017.

"Mental Health." Mental Health | The Homeless Hub. The homelessness hub, n.d. Web. 5th May 2017.

Ostroff, Joshua. "There's A Solution For Mental Health Homelessness In Canada. And It's Cheaper Than Doing Nothing." The Huffington Post. The Huffington Post, 27 Jan. 2016. Web. 16 May 2017.

The homeless, National Coalition for. "Mental Illness and Homelessness." National Coalition for the Homeless (July 2007): n. pag. Web. 5th May 2017.

Toronto, University Or. "Mental Health, Mental Illness, and Homelessness in Canada." CANADIAN POPULATION HEALTH INITIATIVE OF THE CANADIAN INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH INFORMATION 2.3 (2009): n. pag. Web. 5 May 2017.


About the author

I am Mathew Dupere, I live in Montreal sports are a huge part of my life and outside of school that is basically my whole life.