What To Do When Homelessness and Mental Illness Collide
Homelessness can affect any of us. No one is exempt from this reality. Life is simply unpredictable. For many struggling with homelessness, it can be rather easy to hide. With a PO Box or the address of a close family member, no one will ever know that an individual is living on the streets day and night. Even more disheartening is that the majority are children or adults with severe or untreated mental illnesses in the US.
Many believe that homelessness is the result of lack of motivation, substance abuse, or poverty. But the reality is that homelessness is also the result of abuse, trauma, and mental illness among many other factors.
According to the National Alliance To End Homelessness (2013), about 7% of the homeless population lives in rural areas where resources are scarce. They also report that at least 250,000 families are homeless, while a significant portion of the homeless are young parents.