I apologize for my poorly phrased sentence which implies that mental illness is due to carelessness or misconduct.
Mental illness, however, is in the minority when it comes to chronic homelessness. Addiction gets top billing, and there's no such thing as an instantaeous addict. You have to work hard at it. I am well aware of the genetic link, having a paternal family with a strong history of alcoholism, but frankly, don't care. Self-respect and discipline are strong armor against addiction. You become an addict because of your own weakness, carelessness, and misconduct.
Here's the bottom line - it all comes down to who is responsible for what, and the basic definition of "what is a right." I don't care if you're Rush Limbaugh or ol' Gladys downtown: Society is not obligated to fund your rehab when you did it to yourself.
You say "the system is broken," I say that their families are first and foremost responsible for them. I also understand that many times their families cannot make a dent in their conduct. I have a relation by my former marriage who trips offline every year or so and lives on the street for a few weeks or months, then calls and wants to come home.
They let him come home, and he keeps it up.
At a certain point, you have to wish them luck and write these people off. Often THAT is the stimulus that pushes them to recovery, when they turn around and they finally realize that there's no one there, and no one cares if they live or die.
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