This article examines some of the many shortcomings of the mental health system operated by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) and explores the impact of that system on single homeless individuals who suffer from some form of serious or long-term mental disability. To afford that discussion context, however, the article first briefly examines those forces which have, and have not, significantly contributed to the large number of mentally disabled homeless persons. It suggests certain changes, including a shift in departmental focus from hospitals to community services and the creation of a housing subsidy system exclusively for DMH clients, which would allow DMH to end its current practice of at best ignoring, and at worst actually causing, the homelessness of mentally disabled people.



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