[Hpn] Many homeless 'are mentally ill'

William Charles Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Mon, 07 Aug 2006 04:22:47 -0400


Many homeless 'are mentally ill'

7 August 2006

The number of homeless people suffering from mental illness has more than 
doubled in the past 15 years, new figures show.

The percentage of homeless people judged to be homeless and vulnerable due 
to mental illness or disability rose from 3.25% in 1991 to 7.8% in 2006 - a 
rise of 3,040 people.

In all, some 93,980 people were classified as unintentionally homeless in 
2005-06 - a fall of almost 30% on the 132,280 recorded in 1991-2. But the 
number of mentally ill people amongst them rose from 4,300 to 7,340 over the 
same period.

The official figures were obtained from the Department of Communities and 
Local Government in response to a parliamentary question from Liberal 
Democrat housing spokesman Dan Rogerson.

He said: "The increasingly widespread problem of mental illness particularly 
affects society's most vulnerable groups.

"These figures show that we are failing to provide decent housing to the 
people who are most in need of support.

"It is extremely difficult to overcome mental illness without the security 
of living in a permanent home.

"The Government must act to make sure that people with mental health 
problems are given the support and housing they desperately need."

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