Nobody is chronically homeless and on the street by choice.
Originally Posted by okiron
Unless they're homeless because they don't want to bother with getting a job and becoming responsible. I hate those people. It's completely their fault they're homeless and I couldn't give a rat's butt if they starved.
Virtually all long-term homeless people suffer from mental illness, and many of them are so paranoid that they refuse to enter a shelter. Some of them are also addicted to drugs or alcohol, so for them, entering a shelter usually means going into withdrawal.
Therefore, these people who are afraid of shelters appear to choose
the street... and that's where this myth of being "homeless by choice" comes from.
So here we have a person whose own mind has betrayed him, who has literally nothing but the clothes on his back, and who is most likely eating out of dumpsters. And we expect that person to go out and find a job?
And then do
the job consistently, despite his mental chaos?
If a person suffering from severe mental illness (and possibly addiction) is ever to be a functioning member of society again, it's going to take a lot of professional help -- and he still may not make it. Such people often need treatment and housing for life. But in this country, you only get that if you murder
someone and end up in prison.
As a nation, we grasp these issues so poorly that we are willing to spend money to lock up violent thugs -- but not to rescue and rehabilitate people whose only crime is an illness that manifests itself in mental
symptoms, rather than physical
The happy homeless person who loves sleeping under bridges and eating out of dumpsters is a MYTH
-- but we keep perpetuating it because it allows us to pretend we have no moral obligation to the mentally ill.