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They Are Addicts! – September Blog

This month, we are dispelling Myth #3 — THEY ARE ADDICTS. This stereotype spreads harmful negativity and falsehoods. Substance abuse does not represent all homeless people. Although it can lead to homelessness, other factors such as lack of affordable housing, unemployment, low wages, mental health issues, family breakdown, or leaving prison or foster care without adequate support are also contributing issues. While some homeless individuals struggle with substance abuse, it’s important to recognize that addiction is a health issue that affects people from all walks of life, whether they have a home or not.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimates that roughly 38% of the homeless nationwide suffer from an alcohol dependency while 26% abuse drugs. At MRM, no one is everturned away; however, guests must adhere to our policy of no alcohol or drugs allowed on the premises at CRC and in our shelters. For those who ask for help with their addiction, MRM refers individuals to several partner agencies that provide substance abuse coaching and programs. 

Homeless individuals come from diverse backgrounds and experiences. They are families, veterans, seniors, youth, or individuals facing domestic violence or economic hardships. Effectively reducing homelessness requires us to address its root causes. This involves providing accessible and affordable housing, supporting mental health services and combatting poverty and wage inequality. 

To create meaningful and lasting change, we must address these stereotypes surrounding homelessness. Doing so can cultivate a deeper understanding of how to assist this vulnerable population.  Let’s create a community where everyone has a place to call home!

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