Mental-health services in the U.S. are a failed mess: underfunded, disorganized, inaccessible, misallocated, dispirited, and driven by commercial interest. The current nonsystem is a shameful disgrace that won't change unless the various voices who care about the mentally ill can achieve greater harmony.
New York City faces a persistent conundrum: How can the city help homeless families out of shelters and into secure, stable housing--and prevent their return to the shelter system?
The Philippines -- a place I used to call home. There was no place like it. But that was fourteen years ago. Fourteen years ago, my parents worked hard to pave our way to go abroad. Our new destination: Canada.
I'm frustrated that 8 years after the National LGBTQ Task Force released their report calling LGBT youth homelessness an epidemic, we are still having the same conversations.
What do you say to a group of homeless 10-to-17-year-olds living with their single mothers at one of the largest homeless shelters in the country, in one of the most drug and crime infested parts of Los Angeles?
There are few instances in life when you see true inspiration in action, when it's standing in front of you, revealed right before your eyes. More t...
People might say that I am being naïve but someone needs to bang the table and someone needs and have a vision to show what is possible.
Fact 2: One quarter of homeless people are children. HUD reports that on any given night, over 138,000 of the homeless in the U.S. are children under the age of 18. Thousands of these homeless children are unaccompanied, according to HUD.
"You have to stand your ground and be who you are and find acceptance -- if not in others, than in yourself. That's the road to happiness...and as Oscar Wilde said, and is quoted by [the character] Lola: 'Be Yourself: everyone else is already taken.'"
Unaccompanied women on the street and in shelters face unique challenges. Studies show that they often leave their living situations later than men in the downward-spiral process.
This isn't rocket science. If you put people who are sick in jail instead of a hospital they don't get better; if someone bounces between a cell and the street for years, they'll never find a stable place to live.
Every time I walk in the door of this free afterschool program, I get happy. It's a bright, joyful classroom filled with children laughing. Do you have any idea how rich a child's laugh can sound when it comes from a child with no place to call home?
Across the country, there are nonprofit groups that help people who are homeless care for their pets by providing free food, water, medication, and other supplies. This is an often-overlooked need, but it is such a priceless and incredibly kind service to offer.
When you see a homeless person, do you look the other way and keep on walking? If you do ignore a homeless person's request for help, just how quickly does the incident evaporate from your mind? Seconds? Minutes? Hours?
Initially faced with the brightly-colored truck outside our normal meal space, some clients were hesitant, assuming that this bounty could not be for them. Other clients walked up uncertainly, but broke into smiles we told them to just go to the truck and order.
Although I showed her kindness and respect, I questioned what I could have done differently, how I might have been able to help her.