California has a homeless and mental health crisis. These problems have existed for years, but they continue to get worse. It is estimated that 16 percent of the population has a mental health problem. Five percent of people have a mental illness that prevents them from functioning in their daily activities.
Thirty-nine percent of the homeless population has a mental illness. In order for a person to be classified as homeless in California, they must have lived on the streets for at least one year. There are 5,000 homeless people in Orange County. The homeless population in Orange County has steadily increased since 2013.
Housing alone will not solve the homeless and mental health crisis in California. The mental health aspect has to also be addressed. People who have severe mental health conditions are often unable to make decisions regarding their health and well-being.
Lawmakers have proposed a bill that will better clarify the definition of gravely disabled. This will ensure that people who have severe disabilities are taken care of. People argue that mentally ill people are often a danger to themselves. They also stated that it is inhumane to allow the mentally ill to live on the street without a lifeline.
This proposed legislation is similar to a law in Colorado. Philip Chen is an assemblyman who represents Los Angeles. He stated that people should not be able turn a blind eye to the gravely disabled. Everyone has to do what they can in order to ensure that people who cannot take care of themselves receive the help that they need.
According to the current definition, a person is considered gravely-disabled if they are unable to meet their basic needs because of a mental disorder. Many people argue that this definition is too broad and can prevent some people from getting the treatment that they need.