Housing, Mental Health and Recovery
Yesterday’s meeting of the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Recovery Commission focused on how the current housing situation in San Mateo County is impacting individuals and families with mental health and/or substance use challenges. Testimony about personal experiences were given to the Commission. Rather than summarize and provide commentary I want to share some of the comments that were expressed to give you, the reader, a sense of how serious the housing crisis is for our consumers/clients and family members.
“Nearly impossible to keep hope” “I don’t know if it’s worth trying”
“Depression escalating, lost hope” “You don’t know how to survive”
“Devalued as a citizen” “If I die I at least won’t worry about being homeless”
“When I was using at least I was housed, as I have worked on my recovery I am homeless”
“Barely hanging on” “Lowest point in my life and my children’s”
“When you have to keep moving it is like having your soul in a box”
“When I had stable housing my kids flourished” “Vulnerable to scams”
” More wealth less housing for us” “Couldn’t help but fall into deep depression”
“People in abusive relationships are staying, nowhere else to go”
“No stability for me, none for my child” “I am doing my part”
“Without stable housing-on the streets, hospital, jail”
“If you don’t have housing you only have stress”
“A constant jigsaw puzzle without all the pieces”
I feel, as many due, that I am at the mercy of my landlord, a less than scrupulous individual who cares more about his profit margin than caring about his tenants. If I ever need or want to move, what are my options? Currently, none…..