Why getting help can be hard for the homeless

Source: WCAX.com, Ginna Bullard, 6/30/11 “Devin Cross likes to say he’s houseless, not homeless. He says it’s less degrading. “I’ve been houseless for about 5 years, kind of drifter status,” Cross said. We found him waiting outside of the Safe Harbor Health Center in Burlington. The only health care clinic for homeless people in Vermont charging little to no money. Last year they saw more patients than ever before– 1,400 people. “The good thing is that people are coming in and getting care but it’s worrisome that the numbers are going out and yet there doesn’t seem to be housing opportunities– more people are staying outside,” said Erin Ahearn of Safe Harbor. Camps are all over South Burlington fully stocked with possessions, hygiene and cleaning products. There also is no shortage of alcohol and drugs. Ahearn says the woods can be a choice for people who aren’t ready to be sober in a shelter. “I’m addicted to anything I want to be addicted to,” laughed Artie Hill, who used to be homeless. Safe Harbor says that one-third of their patients have a substance abuse problem and another third have mental health issues. They also see people with both. Ahearn said, “The first thing we want to do is a build a rapport and relationship with them, so we can get to the point where we can educate them about ‘these are your options or is there something you would like to do about this?'”…” Full Story and Video: Why getting help can be hard for the homeless PDF of Story: Why getting help can be hard for the homeless

#Homelessness #Housing #VT

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