Schizophrenia affects a little more than 1 percent of the U.S. population, but it’s much more prevalent among homeless persons. Estimates are wide ranging, but some go as high as 20 percent of homeless population. That’s thousands of people living with schizophrenia and experiencing homelessness each day.
Nearly 10 million Americans suffer from a severe mental illness (SMI) – schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or severe depression. Schizophrenia is generally the most stigmatized of these three disorders, and can be the most burdensome. The symptoms, which include hallucinations, delusions and sometimes incoherent speech patterns, often make it difficult for people with the disorder to maintain relationships, access treatment, or keep employment or housing.
We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have a global day dedicated to giving back. Today, millions of Americans will kick off the giving season by supporting worthy causes as part of #GivingTuesday. Charities, families, businesses, community centers, students, and individuals will come together to give back to the community and support causes that make a difference in the lives of people across the world.
Here at the Alliance, we work every day to research and share solutions that will end homelessness for the thousands of individuals and families that are living in shelters and on the streets. Our staff works with federal partners to ensure that these solutions receive the funding and support needed from the national level to have a real impact on lives across the country. And our Capacity Building team trains local providers, the people working on the ground in your cities and towns, on how to best implement these solutions to end homelessness in your community.
On a given night in 2015, nearly 50,000 veterans experienced homelessness across the country, a staggering number, yet a number that represents a 36 percent decline since 2010. We’re making progress. But now administrative changes brewing at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) could threaten that progress.
The changes have to do with several VA transitional housing and rapid rehousing programs that have been largely responsible for the progress we have made in recent years. In short, these changes would make certain veterans ineligible for these programs. Senior leaders at VA estimate such changes would affect approximately 15 percent of the current population served by these programs.
These talking points are meant to help advocates explain to their members of Congress the purpose of legislation that will prevent eligibility changes for certain housing assistance programs that serve homeless veterans.
In August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention held a meeting in Atlanta with several representatives from emergency shelters, health experts, federal officials, and national homeless organizations to discuss the spread of Tuberculosis (TB) in homeless shelter populations.
TB can be a fatal disease; it is transmitted through the air and can remain in the air for many hours, which means that people staying in jails or shelters jails are especially susceptible to TB. Not only do homeless people spend extended periods in crowded shelters, they’re more likely to have compromised immune systems from living on the streets.