[There are approximately 553,000 people in the US who are homeless. 35% are addicted to substances or behaviors, 20-25% have mental illness, and 6% have a severe mental illness.
(For the sake of full disclosure, I have a severe mental illness and two addictions. I have been blessed in many ways and though my misadventures have been harrowing, my diseases have yet to take me down the path of true, living-on-the-street homelessness).
These human beings are not lesser people who live on the streets because they are lazy or have made poor choices. They are our friends, neighbors, family members, co-workers, and other members of our community who became so impaired by their illnesses of the brain that they are/were unable to function well enough to keep their heads above water in our dog-eat-dog socioeconomic system.
They are worthy of respect, dignity, compassion, and any assistance we, as a society of ethical human beings, can offer these the most vulnerable among us.
Particularly during this pandemic in which they are essentially defenseless.] JM
“These citizens, with equal rights to dignity and social welfare, are quite literally left out in the cold. Even if one doesn’t have an appropriate ethical response to human suffering, one has to consider the spread of the coronavirus through and via an unmonitored part of the community.”