HOW ARE MENTAL HEALTH AND HOMELESSNESS TIED TOGETHER AND HOW CAN WE ADDRESS MENTAL HEALTH IN THE HOMELESS COMMUNITY?

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HOMELESSNESS IN SEATTLE:

Homelessness in Seattle can be described by this quote by Mayor Jenny Durkan: “Seattle’s homelessness crisis has been years in the making, and its roots run deep, touching racial inequity, economic disparities, mental health treatment, rising housing costs, mental health, addiction, and so much more. We have a responsibility to be honest that this crisis won’t go away overnight. Lasting, meaningful progress will take years. But we still must act – and are acting – to improve life in Seattle.” Seattle has the third-largest homeless population despite being the 18th largest city(both the first 2 cities with the largest homeless population are also the 2 largest cities in the USA) with numbers continuing to rise. The severity of the issue can be seen in the graph below.

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN HOMELESSNESS AND MENTAL HEALTH:

Homelessness and mental health are caught in an endless cycle. A shown in the left infographic rates of mental illness is high in the homeless population, but the population that most likely needs it the most has the most barriers to help and services as shown on the infographic on the right. One issue cannot be addressed without addressing the other, and as of right now, the situation is dire in Seattle.

CURRENT RESPONSE:

As of now the greatest champion of this cause in Seattle is the DESC. They currently offer many programs including Mental Health Services; Substance Use Disorder Treatment; Support, Advocacy, Growth, and Employment(SAGE); Homeless Outreach Stabilization and Transition(HOST); Program of Assertive Community Treatment(PACT); Community Outreach and Advocacy Team(COAT); Services and Housing to Access Recovery Program(SHARP); Onsite Medical Services; Lew Middleton Drop-In Center. The DESC is amazing, but 1 organization alone, no matter how important and impactful, cannot solve an issue as large as this alone. Additionally, I had no idea the DESC existed until I began to research the issue, so it stands to reason that many of the homeless population doesn’t know either, which leads me to…

MY RESPONSE:

There isn’t much I can personally do to address the larger issue, but I can bring awareness to both the issue and the organizations working to solve it. I plan to make pamphlets and posters with basic information on this topic that I can place at food banks, shelters, and just places with high foot traffic. I would also like your input on things I can do and ways to address mental health in the homeless population. I encourage all of you to do the same and I will also post the suggestions that I receive in the google form to the comment section after a few people have replied so that you may choose those options as ways to help as well.

GOOGLE FORM

Works Cited

7 Comments

7 comments

  1. Hi Lulia! You had such an amazing project, I really learned a lot! I especially appreciate you giving specific organizations because it can seem very hard to tackle such a large topic on our own but knowing that we can give donations/support in any way makes it feel like we can do more than we think. The only piece of input I have is that your google form doesn’t seem to allow anyone outside of your organization but I think you just need to change the shared settings to resolve this. Overall, really good job I enjoyed this a lot!

  2. Hi Lulia! I really enjoyed reading you page. This is such an important topic that unfortunately is not given the attention that it deserves. One thing that stood out to me about your page was how you included so many graphs and figures. The data gave great evidence for your claims, and the colorful nature of the images drew me in. Amazing job!

  3. Hi Lulia! I love that you looked at an issue very prevalent to your specific community.

    Trying to change the perception of a direct correlation of homelessness and poverty to homelessness and mental illness instead is a great way to spread awareness and help make actual change. All of the visuals helped make your project easy to read and also visually appealing, drawing us readers in. Great job!!

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you appreciated the visuals; I wanted to avoid long boring blocks of text.

  4. Hi!

    I think you did a great job drawing awareness to this major issue in the US. Something so few people seem to realize is that homelessness stems from problems that often aren’t financial and that financial aid in whatever form isn’t a sustainable solution. You did a great job informing others of this through this post! The only thing I would suggest is to make the photos of statistics at the top bigger, I had to zoom in which was no problem, just for easier viewing!

    Great job!

  5. Thank you! I’m glad you mentioned the idea of financial stress being the only cause of homelessness. I admit that I used to think the same thing until I started this project. I agree about the photos, but sadly, I wasn’t tech-savvy enough to figure out how to make them bigger.

  6. Hi Lulia!
    I think your project does a great job of bringing awareness to the issue of mental health in people without homes. I live near Dallas with one of the highest populations of people without homes and think the same issues are seen here. I loved that you provided ways that we can help and organizations that are working to solve this issue.

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