Mental illness is a fact of life within the homeless population. Does homelessness result from mental illness, or is it a contributor to it? This is probably a “which came first the chicken or the egg” kind of question. Currently, at the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley we are seeing that about 30% of those who enter the shelter self-admit to a mental health diagnosis. This may be anything from “simple” depression to chronic schizophrenia.
People with mental illness are not always the easiest people to love, but they are people – real people who struggle with huge issues, but people who were made in the image of God. A cup of cold water given in the name of Jesus to one of the “least of these” is a cup given to Christ