Homeless, Mentally Ill, and Neglected

By Marjorie L. Baldwin, PhD

Estimates suggest that, nationwide, one-third of homeless persons have a serious mental illness (SMI)….

“In Kennebec, Maine, a severely mentally ill man dug a cavelike home for himself in a hillside beneath a downtown parking lot. He rejected all offers of help by police and mental health workers, and Maine law did not allow for involuntary treatment except under extreme circumstances. Finally, the overlying city parking lot began to sag because of his digging, and it was decided to arrest him because he was a threat to the parking lot. [p. 124]

There is something very wrong with a system that makes it easier to arrest a homeless person than to get him the treatment he needs…..

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