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August 26, 2020

Why is Homelessness Such a Problem on the West Coast?

When we see photos of homeless people or tent cities, they’re usually set against one of a few familiar backdrops: palm trees, sun-scorched pavement, or gray Pacific Northwest skies. There are over 180,000 homeless people living on the streets of California, Oregon, and Washington cities. Of the 10 cities with the highest rates of homelessness, all but two are on the West Coast.

Why are there so many homeless people in West Coast cities? This question is often talked about, but seldom agreed upon. Among the many reasons given, some gain traction that aren’t actually true. These are often based on guesses or assumptions.

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August 19, 2020

Homeless People Face Deadly Heat as COVID-19 Keeps Places of Refuge Closed

It’s officially summer, and although we all hoped otherwise, COVID-19 is still around. In fact, COVID-19 rates are rising in many states, with some hitting record numbers of cases and/or hospitalizations. Many of these states, such as California, Arizona, and Texas, are also the hottest.

Summer is an especially dangerous time to be homeless. Before COVID-19, homeless people relied on shelters or indoor public spaces to cool down. These places closed when the pandemic began. With the new rise in cases, re-opening seems farther away than ever.

What does this mean for homeless people, who have no reprieve from the sweltering sun?

Numerous Dangers Without Shelter

Summer has always been a hard time for people without homes. Extreme heat is the second largest weather-related cause of death in the U.S. Fifty-three percent of homeless people live in two of the hottest states in the country: Florida and California. Heat-related dangers homeless people face include:

 

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August 6, 2020

Study Reveals Lack of Access as Root Cause for Mental Health Crisis in America

Study Reveals Lack of Access as Root Cause for Mental Health Crisis in America

Mental health services in the U.S. are insufficient despite more than half of Americans (56%) seeking help

Limited options and long waits are the norm, but some bright spots with 76% of Americans now seeing mental health as important as physical health

Cohen Veterans Network (CVN), a national not-for-profit philanthropic organization, and National Council for Behavioral Health, the unifying voice of America’s health care organizations that delivers mental health and addiction treatment and services, issued the inaugural America’s Mental Health 2018, a comprehensive study of access to mental health care, at the 2018 Cohen Veterans Care Summit in Washington D.C. The study, which assesses Americans’ current access to and attitudes towards mental health services, revealed American mental health services are insufficient, and despite high demand, the root of the problem is lack of access – or the ability to find care.

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