Bill Opening Shelters to Those With Mental Illness Passed by Senate

tent city 3The Senate today passed legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to require emergency shelters for the homeless to admit persons with a mental illness so long as the person poses no risk to others.

“Having a mental illness should in no way preclude someone from being given shelter in a time of need,” Allen said. “Those who are homeless and suffering from mental illness face enough challenges already without enduring unfair discrimination and being left in the cold.”

The bill, S-1888, requires that no person can be refused admittance to an emergency shelter for the homeless because they are believed to have a mental illness unless there is a reasonable basis to believe that the person poses a danger to themselves or others.

According to a study by the Corporation of Supportive Housing, nearly 90 percent of the state’s chronically homeless suffer from a mental illness. The bill was introduced after media accounts detailed the inability of those with a mental illness to find a shelter that would take them in.

“Preventing those with a mental illness from accessing homeless shelters is only exacerbating the problem,” Allen concluded. “Providing a safe, warm place to sleep is at least a start in getting these residents the help they need.” [TLS]

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  1. It is very unfair and slanderous of you to use a photo of Tent City in association with this story.

    Tent City doesn’t accept people with serious mental illness – then again, the last time Minister Steve tried to evict somebody, he was dragged to court over it 13 times before the charges were just recently finally dropped…

  2. Alex stop lying you and I know that TC is innfested with mentally ill people. Stop denying facts!

    I personally would like to invite anyone who wishes for a tour of TC so they can see with their own eyes what is going on.

    Alex stop lying it will not do you good – especially when there is someone within TC that will refute any lie that comes out from within TC.

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