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Sources Summaries
Vasque, Daniel. "Officers criticized for using weapons on the mentally ill," Mercury News,  March 21, 2000.

The San Jose Police Department said it would train a special team of patrol officers to respond to crises with people suffering from mental illness.
This Crisis Intervention Team is one of the first in the nation, and being hailed as a model. Approximately 5 million Americans are diagnosed with severe brain disorders, including schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and major depression. Another 50 million adults and 12 million children suffer milder forms.
"Homeless Man Slain by San Diego Police Is Identified,"  San Diego Times, February 11, 2000.
Another incident where the police encounter a homeless person who is suffering from mental illness and have to make decisions regarding their protection.
Lyderson, Kari. "For Jailed Mentally Ill, A Way Out; Program Helps Those Caught in a Cycle of Incarceration, Hospitals, and the Streets," The Washington Post, June 28, 2000.
A program that seems to help!
Herzenstorm, David M. "Seeking Common Ground in the Debate on the Homeless," The New York Times, November 23, 1999.
Many concerns about the mentally ill homeless are addressed, in light of the recent attacks in New York City.
Kellerman, Jonathan. "Schizophrenics Need to be Monitored," USA Today, July 28, 1998.
Some individuals suffering from schizophrenia can be helped with medication--about one third cannot be helped.
Lyderson, Kari . For Jailed Mentally Ill, A Way Out; Program Helps Those Caught In Cycle of Incarceration, Hospitals and the Streets. Special to the Washington Post,  June 28, 2000.
What are the alternatives for those who sleep on the streets?
National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, January, 1999.
Persons with mental illness are at particular risk for substance abuse. The substance abuse starts while they are homeless. In many cases, substance abuse precedes an individual’s loss of regular housing and can be considered a primary cause of his homeless condition.

"A number of outreach programs have helped many homeless with serious mental illnesses. However, the cost to run these programs is high and more case management is needed. Most homeless people with mental illness receive minimal treatment and services and go in and out of hospitals, jails, shelters and life on the streets.

Outcasts on Main Street: A Report of the Federal Task Force on Homelessness and Severe Mental Illness, 1992.
Persons with mental illness may show extreme paranoia, anxiety, depression or hallucinations. Approximately 20-25% of the single adult homeless population suffers from some form of severe and persistent mental illness but only 5% who have a serious mental illness are homeless at any given time.

Many people with mental illness have difficulty developing and maintaining comfortable social relationships. This can lead to loneliness and isolation, as well as conflicts with landlords and neighbors. These conflicts can result in homelessness if appropriate treatment and services are not avail

Torrey, E. Fuller and Mary T. Zdanowicz. "How Freedom Punishes the Severely Mentally Ill," USA Today, June 7, 1999.
" . . . At least one third of the estimated 600,000 homeless individuals have schizophrenia or manic-depressive illness.
Vasquez, Daniel. "Officers criticized for using weapons on the mentally ill,"  Mercury News, .March 20, 2000.

 

Read one response from an individual with personal insight about  the issue of homelessness and mental illness.

GO TO  Response

A case that made the San Jose police aware of the special training needed to deal with individuals who suffered from mental illness. The Crisis Intervention team is one of the first in the nation and is viewed as a model.

Approximately 5 million Americans are diagnosed with severe brain disorders, including schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and major depression. Another 50 million adults and 12 million children suffer milder form. That wasn't the case in Los Angeles. Last month a police commission ruled an officer violated policy when he fatally shot a mentally ill woman after trying to find out if her shopping cart was stolen. The woman waved a screwdriver at officers, but the commission ruled police could have diffused the situation without guns. Meanwhile, San Diego police are still dealing with the aftermath of their February shooting of a 220-pound homeless man in San Diego who struck passersby with a tree branch and then charged police. These Southern California shootings have led San Diego and Los Angeles police officials to San Jose's doorstep, asking for advice on setting up their own CIT units.

See also, "Homeless Man Slain by San Diego Police Is Identified," LA Times, February 11, 2000,

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