The chronic homeless have always been drug addicts, alcoholics or individuals with mental illnesses, most of whom also are abusing substances. But they are being joined by another category of men who are modern day lepers.
Sexual offenders are finding it impossible to obtain housing after they are released from jail or prison. Many states and municipalities have stringent rules about where registered sex offenders can live. As soon as they disclose their criminal background, landlords reject their applications. Sexual offenders end up being released to shelters where they are as unwelcome as they are anywhere else. They quickly disappear onto the streets.
This growing housing problem was brought to my attention during a recent board meeting of the Corporation for Supportive Housing, a national non-profit organization that Patti and I financially support. CSH helps cities and states build supportive housing units with wrap around services. It is the only organization whose board I serve on and it is at the tip of the spear when it comes to helping vulnerable populations, especially persons with mental illnesses.