Homelessness and Mental Health in San Francisco

Huffington Post recently released a piece advocating for a greater focus on mental health care, especially to the homeless in San Francisco and elsewhere.

Homelessness in San Francisco, and in so many communities up and down the West Coast, is an epidemic, and it’s one we’re not dealing with effectively. As tech companies come into San Francisco, more and more people are being priced out of their homes. Some of these people leave the city for more affordable communities, and some of these people become homeless. That does not mean these people are not equal citizens, but it does mean that our system has failed them and that we ought to support them however we are able to.

Part of that means realizing that mental health is an issue that is disproportionately relevant to those who might be homeless for many reasons. Many of the people who become homeless become so after years of untreated mental health issues that finally manifested themselves into a person’s inability to maintain a job and housing. Many people develop mental health issues while homeless as research suggests that the homeless are more likely to be victims of crime than the general public. These aren’t people looking for an easy buck on the street. These are people who often need help from the system in order to get up.

We can do more for our homeless population, especially as it relates to the mental health care available to them, in San Francisco and everywhere else too.