Back in May, also Mental Health Awareness Month, I began writing, thinking and praying about mental illness in the homeless community.
It saddens me to know that people struggling with mental illness are marginalized.
It also saddens me to know that people struggling with homelessness are marginalized.
So when a person struggles with both mental illness and homelessness, the marginalization runs very deep, and also saddens me.
Recently, I’ve written about 5 different issues I believe cause and result in this crippling marginalization in our modern world.
We have to remember that these men, women and children live real lives; they live each day with real names, real faces and were born from real mothers, yet they are so often cast aside, neglected and victims of hate crimes. I believe these men, women and children are who Jesus would call the “least of these” in our modern society. He would be with them, and is with them, in their midst!
These men, women and children don’t just need the right techniques, the right programs, the right medications and the right methods to “cure” them, they need so much more; they need the type of Revolutionary Love, compassion, grace, mercy and hope, that Jesus showed the outcasts in His day! We may not be able to “cure” or “fix” them, but we may be able to reduce the harm and make their lives more tolerable. These men, women and children need us to be their family, through thick and thin….
Below are the Links to 5 Posts I’ve written about 5 different issues….
- Ostracized and Bullied: This is about a man totally unaware of his personal hygiene, how he ostracizes himself and how his very unusual spiritual beliefs put himself in grave danger from Chicago’s unforgiving temperatures and any callous thugs looking for someone to bully: Stinky Shorts In Frigid Temperatures
- Impulsive and Endangered: This is about another man whose impulsiveness, schizophrenia and bi-polar, coupled with an inability to read and write, have caused him to be unable to function properly in this technological world and how he remains constantly in danger of physical harm: Money Crazy: Crazy For Money
- Isolated and Alone: I wrote this a while ago: here I focus on another aspect of mental illness which is often neglected, due to it’s paralyzing silence. Yet many people in the homeless community (and also in the housed world) struggle with it daily: Social Phobia Anxiety Disorder and Homelessness!
- Unhealthy and Dying: This is about how having a debilitating mental illness can affect our physical well being. Shane is a 41 year old man who lies on his death bed, due primarily to his mental illness and poverty: The Self-Proclaimed “Craziest Man in Uptown”: a look into mental illness and homelessness
- Criminalized and Punished: This is about the criminalization of people struggling with mental illness. I focus on a man who went into a life threatening seizure when he was stopped and frisked by the Chicago police. The question I ask here is “why are we so intent in criminalizing the ‘least of these’”? Locking Up the Mentally Ill?
“For as you have done unto the least of these, you’ve done it unto Me”
Join me in praying, loving and accepting for our marginalized homeless and mentally ill brothers and sisters.