Why Do People Experience Homelessness?
Homelessness is not the result of one or two problems but a vast multitude of factors unique to each person. A person can flee a living situation with an abuser and have nowhere else to go. A person can lose their job and be unable to afford their rent or mortgage payment. A person can experience a health crisis or chronic disability and not have the insurance payment or disability income to afford housing. Other people may immediately enter homelessness after exiting foster care when they turn 18. Many people who are released from jail or prison cannot find an employer or landlord that will give them a second chance.
Another major factor contributing to homelessness is untreated mental health problems. Many chronic mental illnesses, if left untreated, can lead to delusions and hallucinations that make employment impossible. Substance abuse and addiction also frequently contribute to job and housing loss. People with intellectual or developmental disabilities are often unable to secure well-paying jobs and cannot afford housing based on disability income. State services are available to help these individuals, but the most urgent cases are funded first, leaving many without adequate support. Regardless of how people come to experience homelessness, they deserve help in relieving their immediate suffering and regaining long-term stability.
Regardless of how people come to experience homelessness, they deserve help in relieving their immediate suffering and regaining long-term stability.
Spotlight on Mental Illness
Mental illness is a major struggle for many people experiencing homelessness. Many conditions are very treatable, but most people who experience homelessness cannot access adequate care. Struggling with a mental illness can lead to job loss and then housing loss. Severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder can lead to delusions, hallucinations, and other damaging symptoms. People suffering from these illnesses are much more like to hurt themselves or be hurt by others than hurt other people, but these agitated states still invite scorn and fear from the public.
The chronic stress and misery associated with living on the streets and in shelters can exacerbate existing mental illness and trigger new conditions. These mental illnesses in turn leave people more vulnerable to victimization and less able to care for themselves. This cycle is difficult for people to break free from, especially without access to counseling, medication, and other services. Therefore, part of our mission is to connect people with mental health and substance abuse resources in the community, as well as making our shelter as comfortable as possible. If you or someone you know are in danger of hurting yourself or others, please call 911 immediately.
People Experiencing Homelessness While Suffering From Mental Illness
People Experiencing Homelessness While Suffering From a Severe Mental Illness