Statistics on Homeless People With Substance Abuse Issues

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Homeless people with substance abuse issues make up the majority of the homeless seen in shelters, and most of that group also has mental health issues to go along with it. Research the correlation between substance abuse and homelessness with information from a Salvation Army major in this free video on homelessness.

Part of the Video Series: Homelessness
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Video Transcript

I'm Major Carole Emmeron of the Salvation Army. My husband and I co-direct the services of the Salvation Army in Buchanan County. So that includes the shelter, the Corps Community Center, the thrift store, community outreach, disaster services and anything else the Salvation Army would be involved in here in Buchanan County. Yes, I don't have the specific statistics. I think we could probably pull those up on the Internet as far as what homelessness results from substance abuse. I know that there are a lot of people who are not homeless who are substance abusers. Drug and alcohol addiction does add to the risk level of a person becoming homeless. Because of course of if alcohol or drug consumes the person's resources and they're not able to sustain financially that's going to have its bearing. But also often times it breaks up a family and the person is asked to leave with no resources to leave with. So I think probably, I'm thinking that probably about sixty percent of the people that we see who are homeless have either a drug and alcohol addiction problem or and a mental health problem. If the substance abuse has caught the person for so many years that now it's contingent on their mental health issues. So they go together and often, in eighty percent of the people who have a mental or an alcohol or drug disorder, the two are often go together. Now not eighty percent of the people who come to the shelter have but probably there's sixty-five to seventy percent of people who come will become homeless who have one of the other as their issue. Thank you again for your interest in the issue of homelessness. This is Major Carole of the Salvation Army in St. Joseph, Missouri and I just want to encourage you to do what you can to prevent homelessness. There are many ways people can help. By volunteering, by giving of resources, shampoos, soaps, laundry detergent, blankets, socks, underclothes, by volunteering your time with an organization. So again thank you for your interest in this particular video and if you have any questions, please feel free to call your local Salvation Army. I'm sure that we can put you to work and make an impact in each community that you represent.

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