A state budget deficit in Connecticut threatens the closing of state mental hospitals and holds the potential of displacing chronically mentally ill patients into homelessness. This article explores the historical association between deinstitutionalization of patients from mental hospitals and subsequent homelessness. One third to two thirds of homeless individuals are mentally ill and require intensive, specific, and targeted responses by the community to end their homelessness. Trends in the care of the chronically mentally ill and the conditions of those who are homeless in Connecticut are explored. Model treatment programs are discussed to suggest possible actions, and recommendations that would help ensure treatment and humane care for the homeless mentally ill in the Hartford region are offered.



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