Homeless Problem: Stop the Insanity Essay

1500 Words 6 Pages
Stop the Insanity

“No vision haunts America’s conscience more then the sight of the street people….The irrationality and anguish that grip so many of these individuals leap out during any encounter, whether in Washington or Albuquerque.”
- US Senator Pete Domenici, 1972-2009

People who live at poverty level and have mental disorders are more likely to become homeless. Unfortunately, police and emergency personnel are not always trained to evaluate mental illness. Hospitals do not treat homeless people for underlying conditions such as mental illness. Shelters, temporary and transitional housing staff do not do an adequate job of administering and monitoring medication for those residents that have been diagnosed with a mental
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The Treatment Advocacy Center also states that at any given time there are approximately twice as many people with untreated sever psychiatric illnesses living on America’s streets then are receiving care in hospitals. (3) Those who have the most contact with homeless people such as police, emergency personal, hospital workers, and those working in shelters and transitional housing units do not have the training needed to recognize mental illness. As a result people do not get treated and thus the cycle of mental illness and homelessness continues.
The majority of people with mental disorders are homeless as a direct result of those disorders. Untreated mental illness pushes people away from family and friends as well as outside help. It also hinders ones ability to function in day to day situations. According to The Homeless “Housing programs are complex, competitive and difficult to access for people with mental illness, especially those with a dual diagnosis.” (4) By simply evaluating the people applying for housing programs or other benefits staff can help those who have a mental illness negotiate the process.
When the police are called to situation involving a homeless person they need to access the situation and take action. Should they take the person to a shelter, jail, ask them to go elsewhere, or call for a paramedic. No evaluation is done

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