July 30, 2005

Interview: National Coalition For the Homeless

Michael Stoops is the acting executive director of the Washington D.C. based National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH). He held an online discussion on July 26th to discuss homelessness in Washington D.C. as well as the progress of the NCH.

One of the first questions asked about mental illness was how many homeless people have a mental illness? By going to a homeless shelter do they get help for their disorder or just a place to sleep? In response Stoops stated that about 30% of the homeless are mentally ill and half of all shelters give food and shelter while the other half also provide such things as case management and health services. Unfortunately, there is a higher need for such services than there are resources that provide them.

Stoops states that the three major causes of homelessness are lack of affordable housing, lack of affordable health care, and low paying jobs. Stoops believes that if those three main issues were addressed in America we could reduce the homeless population by 50%. Another question was asked regarding whether food was preferable to give to the homeless or instead something like t-shirts or toothbrushes was better. Stoops believes that the best thing that you can give to the homeless is your time or friendship. Getting to know the person and their story will help you understand them and will give them someone to talk to. This also gives you a way to find out what they need rather than just guessing.

Here is an excerpt of the interview:
"Silver Spring, Md.: I work off of K street NW, where there are tons of homeless people. Some of which, look perfectly healthy (but could have some mental issues however). What programs are being set up to assist homeless ones back on their feet - esp. if they are healthy and competent, but just down and out? Thanks!

Michael Stoops: You can't always tell by looks alone someone's physical and mental health status. For all the homeless folks that are out there there are simply not enough services. So while it is easy to blame the victim we should also ask ourselves why we don't have the programs available" (Washington Post, 2005).

At the end of the interview Michael Stoops states :
Michael Stoops: Thank you all for your questions and for taking part in this discussion. If you would like to be involved with ending homelessness for all people at a local, state, or national level please contact visit www.nationalhomeless.org, email info@nationalhomeless.org or call 202-462-4822.

The source of this article is the Washington Post.

A Full Copy of the Interview is here: Interview Transcript

Posted by christine at July 30, 2005 02:25 PM

More Information on Schizophrenia Housing


Appreciate the heads up concerning this article, which I had not come across otherwise. However, in the future, it would help if you provided a link to the exact article(s) in question. For those who have not found it yet, the Web address for it is:
[via Washington Post; free registration required]

Posted by: mwb at August 1, 2005 12:05 PM


In addition, the transcript is now also archived on the Homeless People's Network (HPN) at:

If the link works anyway, one may just click onto "Read Archived Transcript" (below) at the bottom of this particular comment post, in order to read the post as archived on HPN.

Posted by: Read Archived Transcript at August 1, 2005 01:38 PM


Posted by: Public Agenda at March 8, 2007 10:50 AM

Thanks for a beautiful site! I have added you in elected!
Necessarily I shall advise your site to the friends!
Best wishes for you!http://emon.1sthost.org

Posted by: Lewis at June 19, 2008 01:26 AM

Thanks for a beautiful site! I have added you in elected!
Necessarily I shall advise your site to the friends!
Best wishes for you!http://klop.runhost.net

Posted by: Bound at June 19, 2008 04:04 AM

Post a comment

Please enter this code to enable your comment -
Remember Me?
(you may use HTML tags for style)
* indicates required