June's Story

By Lynnelle Williams on Sep 22, 2015 at 02:44 PM in Success Stories

June is a 51 year-old female living in the Santa Barbara community. She receives SSDI, has an apartment, a car, attends UCSB and suffers from bipolar disorder. June attempted to schedule an appointment to see her doctor because the medication she was taking became ineffective. Because June’s doctor was on vacation, her attempts to get an appointment were denied several times.

As the weeks progressed, June’s mental stability began to deteriorate. Eventually she began having psychotic episodes. June began driving around living as though she was homeless and refused to stay in her apartment. After approximately seven days of dysfunctional living, June parked her car and wandered off. The police tagged the car as abandoned and had it towed. The car ended up at an auto-wrecking yard and June was charged $30.00 per day for storage, plus $155.00 towing fee and $41.00 owed to the police department. June finally got an appointment to see her doctor. However, before she could get stabilized on her medication, the psychosis had prompted her to act inappropriately. She was arrested for petty theft and incarcerated. Inevitably, due to June’s incarceration, everything she had accomplished was at risk including housing, car, income and schooling. June was sentenced to 60 days and during that time the auto wrecking company sold her car.

Stories like this are typical for many who suffer with mental illness.

There is a vicious cycle between mental illness, incarceration and homelessness. The most common diagnoses among  chronic homeless mentally ill adults are major depression, bipolar 1 disorder, and psychotic disorders.

According to the article: Madness in the Streets: Mental Illness, Homelessness and Criminal Behavior found at: https://www:BestMSWPrograms.com/mental-illness-homelessness-criminal behavior/

About one fifth of America’s 1.7 million homeless population suffer from untreated schizophrenia or manic depressive illness. That translates, if you can imagine it, to 385,000 individuals, roughly more than the population of cities such as Dayton, Des Moines, Ft Lauderdale, Grand Rapids, Providence, Richmond or Salt Lake City. And of that number, a percentage will wind up in prison”