The challenges of treating mental disorders in the homeless community

How your Cincinnati car donation can help us help those who need it most

Daily life in the homeless community means there is no normal. It means depending on the kindness of strangers, trying to scrape together enough change to buy food and looking for somewhere to sleep each and every night.

It’s a constant struggle just to survive.

However, this way of living can be even further complicated by a mental illness. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), more than 124,000 of the 610,000 homeless people in the United States suffer from some form of mental illness. That’s one-fifth of the entire homeless population.

If you live in an area that has a moderate to high homeless population, you may have witnessed this phenomenon. If you see a homeless person who appears to be incoherent, talking to themselves, or acting erratically, it’s very possible they are suffering from a mental disorder.

Why it can prove challenging to help treat homeless suffering from mental disorders

Unfortunately, when we are exposed to the homeless day after day, it becomes all too easy to stereotype those exhibiting odd behavior. However, the reality is that many are suffering from common and treatable diseases.

Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression are among the most common mental illnesses that afflict the chronically homeless. And, while these disorders can be treated, the result of them being left untreated can have debilitating consequences.

Homeless people afflicted by these illnesses are much more difficult to provide with aid because of several factors:

  • Many of these illnesses lead to paranoia, so a homeless person suffering from these disorders may not trust social workers or other people who are trying to help
  • These illnesses can cause depression, which may lead to substance abuse
  • Social disorders caused by these illnesses can make the afflicted difficult to work with
  • Homeless people suffering from an illness that impacts their cognitive abilities are difficult to reason with or explain things to

What’s more, this may even be a larger problem than estimated. While HUD's homeless population count sits at 610,000, there are many other higher estimates out there, some even as high as 3.5 million.

Your Cincinnati car donation could be the solution

At Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio, our assistance programs can help keep the homeless off the streets, out of jails, away from substance abuse, and can even help them through rehabilitation to make a full recovery.

We have multiple shelters and transitional housing facilities across Ohio where those in need have access to the food, care and treatment they need.

If you’d like to help us fund these programs, donate a vehicle (car, boat, ATV, etc) to Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio in Cincinnati. We can arrange same-day towing for free, and we’ll take almost anything with a motor, running or not. You might even get more money for your vehicle as a deductible donation on your tax return than you would selling it on your own!

Remember, if you can donate to Volunteers of America, you can help us aid the homeless in all of the Ohio counties we serve.

If you plan on donating a vehicle, please fill out the car donation form. If you have any questions, contact the Car Donation & Auction Office at 614-870-7511.