It was interesting to read the discussion about the proposed homeless shelter. The shelter will address the needs of the people who are already homeless in Carver and Scott counties. While there are certainly pros and cons to the proposal, I was surprised to read that Jordan City Council members were concerned that some of the homeless people could have a mental illness — and that this was a safety concern.
With one in five people having a mental illness, we know that there are people with mental illnesses who are homeless and there are people with mental illnesses living in homes throughout the neighborhoods in Jordan. Having people with mental illnesses in your community is not new — they are already there. People with mental illnesses, especially when homeless, are quite vulnerable and are far more likely to be victims than to harm others. It is an unfounded fear that a homeless person with a mental illness will be violent.
We know that having shelter can actually help someone with their recovery — they can get a good night's sleep and be connected to resources such as health insurance and mental health providers. The shelter will have a positive impact on people’s lives and the community.