Homelessness, Mental Illness and the Failure of Public Agency Persuasive Essay by Nicky

Homelessness, Mental Illness and the Failure of Public Agency
The need for policy change which can effectively attend to issues of mental illness and habitual homelessness.
# 148014 | 2,358 words | 7 sources | APA | 2011 | US
Published on Aug 24, 2011 in Public Administration (General) , Sociology (Poverty)

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This paper discusses the plight of the homeless in American cities. It specifically targets for this discussion the chronically homeless who also suffer from mental illness, substance abuse or both. The paper begins with a brief history of the homeless problem in America and its correlation to the absence of meaningful human support services. It presents a number of methods that have been employed to deal with this issue before recommending a more constructive rehabilitative process.

Case for Action

From the Paper:

"Efforts to this end would be concentrated in those urban locales most demonstrative of a social problem. To the point, the greatest number of homeless people, according to data as recent as 2001, is concentrated in major cities. Here, over 70% of America's homeless fall across a spectrum of categories, though there is a particularly disproportional number of African American men who are homeless when compared to the percentage population of this demographic (CMHS, 1). While the problem of homelessness is generally believed to be a chronic one, this is not actually the case for the majority of homeless people. In fact, most homeless people are only temporarily out-of-doors, with an overwhelming 80% of them finding some form of temporal or makeshift shelter within two to three weeks of their eviction from a residence. Though these individuals are accounted for in assessing the annual total of homeless people to be somewhere in the approximated range of 3.5 million, they do not represent the most vexing facet of the homelessness problem.
"While these individuals may find personal, communal or legal resources to draw on for assistance, those who are chronically homeless are most consistently sufferers of mental illness, substance abuse or both. Those with severe mental disorders are of greatest concern due to the complexity and abstruseness of the topic itself. While only 4% of the American population is considered severely mentally ill, homeless individuals are some six times more likely to be mentally impaired. At twenty to twenty-five percent of the homeless population, this group is undeniably indicative of a larger social incapacity to handle severe mental disorders (USDHUD, 1)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Burt, M.R., Aron, L.Y., Douglas, T., Valente, J., Lee, E., Iwen, B. (1999). Homelessness: Programs and the People They Serve. Interagency Council on the Homeless. Washington, DC.
  • Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS). (2000). Process Evaluation of the ACCESS Demonstration Program for Homeless Persons with Serious Mental Illness: Fifth Year Implementation Case Studies. Vols. I & II. Rockville, MD: Center for Mental Health Services.
  • Lezak, A.D. & Edgar, E. (1992). Federal Task Force on Homelessness and Severe Mental Illness. Outcasts on Main Street. Interagency Council on the Homeless. Washington, DC.
  • Lezak, A.D. (1987). Synopses of National Institute of Mental Health Community Support Program Service Demonstration Grants for Homeless Mentally Ill Persons. National Institute of Mental Health. Rockville, MD.
  • O'Hara, A. & Miller, E. (2000). Priced Out in 2000: The Crisis Continues. Technical Assistance Collaborative, Inc. Boston, MA.

Cite this Persuasive Essay:

APA Format

Homelessness, Mental Illness and the Failure of Public Agency (2011, August 24) Retrieved June 07, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/persuasive-essay/homelessness-mental-illness-and-the-failure-of-public-agency-148014/

MLA Format

"Homelessness, Mental Illness and the Failure of Public Agency" 24 August 2011. Web. 07 June. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/persuasive-essay/homelessness-mental-illness-and-the-failure-of-public-agency-148014/>