Homeless man drug and alcohol addict sitting alone and depressed on the street in the shadow feeling anxious and lonely, social documentary concept
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Wealth & Poverty Review How Housing First Fails the Mentally Ill

When the state-run mental institutions closed their doors in the twentieth century, where did their residents go? 

In New York, many were transferred to adult care homes, which were ill-equipped to care for those suffering from a serious mental illness.

In 2014, New York began transferring the mentally ill from adult care homes to supported housing, in the belief that more freedom was a good thing.

In 2019, Frontline and ProPublica released a documentary following the stories of those for whom New York’s plan was a tragic failure. 

The documentary is a heart-shattering 50 minutes of state incompetency and neglect. Of 4,000 adult home residents who were eligible to move out of adult homes, 770 had moved into more independent living as of 2019. Of those 770, 39 returned to adult homes, and 33 died.

Caitlin Cory

Communications Coordinator, Discovery Institute
Caitlin Cory is the Communications Coordinator for Discovery Institute. She has previously written for Discovery on the topics of homelessness and mental illness, as well as on Big Tech and its impact on human freedom. Caitlin grew up in the Pacific Northwest, graduated from Liberty University in 2017 with her Bachelor's in Politics and Policy, and now lives in Maryland with her husband.