Severe and Persistent Mental Illness

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 20 to 25% of the homeless population in the United States suffers from some form of severe mental illness. In comparison, only 6% of Americans are severely mentally ill (National Institute of Mental Health, 2009).  

Serious mental illnesses disrupt people’s ability to carry out essential aspects of daily life, such as self care and household management. Mental illnesses may also prevent people from forming and maintaining stable relationships or cause people to misinterpret others’ guidance and react irrationally. This often results in pushing away caregivers, family, and friends who may be the force keeping that person from becoming homeless. As a result of these factors and the stresses of living with a mental disorder, people with mental illness are much more likely to become homeless than the general population (Library Index, 2009).

Studies show that nearly 1/4 of all homeless individuals have some sort of mental illness. Our supportive housing for the homeless and mentally ill provides eight individuals with permanent supportive housing. Individuals are provided a safe and supportive atmosphere where they participate in case management to help them manage finances, education and employment, as well as their general health and happiness.

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