The new New York Mayor has proposed, and is trying to roll out, a new policy towards the mentally ill homeless. That is mandatory hospitalization and then release or possibly longer care at an institution specifically for the mentally ill.
This has proven to be pretty unpopular with "concerned citizens". And yet...
.. those same "concerned citizens" were freaked out when Ronald Reagan CLOSED all the mental institutions.
Now, for some reason, one of my high school classes visited the mental hospital in Paramount or Downey. I am sure we were on the non-violent level, but it was eye-opening, in that a lot of people were housed there that could not live alone. And often their families had committed them because they could not handle it anymore and provide a safe space for those family members that were committed.
Also, I have seen some mentally disabled people grow from a youth who cannot control his anger into a young adult with the correspondent growth. Now they might be very big, very powerful people who cannot control their anger, their violence, and then the shift to very nice.
There are good ways to move people to group home care. Or to home / semi-autonomous care. But this did not happen. These mentally disabled and mentally ill people were dumped and nearly all became homeless.
I am not positive that Mayor Adams plan will work, will be fair, or will be a missed chance. If this is done indiscriminately or as a punishment it will fail. But, if it is done compassionately, with a good post hospital plan for supported living, I will be thrilled. I think it is better than leaving them on the street in the cold, then hot, and always unsafe environment.
The on-going cost and difficulty of proper oversight cause the closure of mental facilities, can we provide good care and a plan now?