About half of people experiencing homelessness suffer from mental health issues. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, at any given point in time, 45 percent of homeless people report having had indicators of mental health problems during the past year. About 25 percent of the homeless population has serious mental illness, including chronic depression, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, and schizophrenia.
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 mentally illnesses are much more likely to become homeless than the general population.
Most of the mentally ill homeless go untreated, and frequently cycle in and out of medical and psychiatric hospitals, drug rehabilitation programs, and prisons and jails, at enormous personal and public costs.
53% of HSI's tenants come to our buildings with histories of mental illness
100% of them now have on-site
access to psychiatric care