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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: North Bay / Marin | Health, Housing, and Public Services
OP-ED on Homelessness and Mental Health in Sonoma County.
Summary of research project on homelessness and mental health in Sonoma County.
In my investigative sociology class we are doing a group project looking into homelessness and mental illness as a social issue in Sonoma County. Throughout our research we found that there are many different factors that can contribute to homelessness such as housing affordability, drug use, and mental illness. In 2016, Sonoma County homelessness surveys showed that approximately 3,000 residents are currently homeless all throughout the county and now with the recent fires those numbers are extremely higher. We took a look at services for homeless and mentally ill people that are available in the county and we found that they have had a lack of services available but they are working to improve this. The county has received millions of dollars in federal funding in order to create more programs and services to help these people. This is definitely a step in the right direction but much more needs to be done in order to serve the thousands of people that are suffering. In our research we also found that a main solution to the problem of mentally ill homeless has for a long time been the jails. Incarcerating people with illnesses is not a good solution by any means and only causes a revolving door in and out of jail instead of finding any solution to help these people out in the long term.