There's one group of people I've pretty much ignored as far as who I have written about, and that would be those obvious mental illness. In a way I've been avoiding this subject on purpose. It's a stereotype that most homeless people are mentally ill. In reality the amount of blatant mental illness has been quite a bit less than I originally thought.
With that said, mental illness among the homeless is still prevalent enough that I see it everyday. It kind of makes me sad. I see these people everyday that really can't take care of themselves let alone work a job that will pay enough to survive who for no fault of their own are forced to live on the streets. I can't believe that the government doesn't take care of these people. I really feel that people who have mental illness bad enough so that they are stuck on the streets because they can't take care of themselves should be taken care of by family. And if that's not possible then the government needs to step in and make sure they have a place to live and are given access to the medications and psychiatric care they require. Living on the streets, these people are, in many cases, potentially dangerous to themselves and the people around them.
There's a man I see everyday who is constantly talking to someone who isn't there. It's actually really unnerving. This man is insanely mad (Pardon the Pun) at whoever he's talking to. Sometimes I really feel like he's just going to flip out and someone could easily get hurt.
There was a guy in Portland who I'm still not sure about. I'm almost positive that he was using the crazy homeless guy stereotype to his advantage. It was actually really funny to see this phenomenon in action. When ever he was in areas where there was less people with money, he seemed completely normal, but upon crossing into the areas where there are business's and shopping areas, he seemed completely crazy. He'd walk around yelling strange things to people and then, like clockwork, he'd walk up to and into the shelter, and again, he's a normal guy. So, I'll let you make up your mind about what was going on there.
So there are people with mental illness in the homeless community, but not nearly as many as you'd think, or possibly, as many as some people might want you to think.