Mental illness


People with severe addictions and/or mental illness make up anywhere from 33% to over 60% of the homeless population. Approximately 136,000 adults in BC have a severe addiction and/or mental illness, and between 8,000 and 15,500 of these people are street homeless. Because of the cyclical and long-term nature of severe mental illness, people often have difficulty getting and keeping employment. Without a regular income, many people depend on provincial and federal benefit programs. However, these programs do not provide enough assistance to cover basic food and shelter costs, and people with addictions and mental illness are often not able to qualify for these programs. These people fall through the cracks of our society due to an overwhelmed medical system, societal stigma and a lack of resources.

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