“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up”, Galatians 6:9, Today’s New International Version.
The Baltimore United Congregations, an interfaith organizations of churches and organizations formed to encourage and invite churches to join the struggle to end homelessness and to serve citizens experiencing homelessness will host their 3rd annual Interfaith Symposium “Worst of Both Worlds: Mental Illness and Homelessness”, our third annual Interfaith Forum on Homelessness” on October 2, from 9:00 am – 3:30 pm at Goucher College.
In partnership with Goucher, “several participants like NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), Metropolitan Baltimore who will present an anti-stigma workshop and Dr. William Breakey, MB, who has done extensive work in the areas of mental illness and homeless who will be our morning speaker”, states Sheila Helgerson, co-chair of BUC.
Many of us who have worked or walked alongside citizens experiencing homelessness know the trauma of mental illness on the life of a person struggling to survive living on the streets. Recognizing mental illness and providing medical attention to homeless persons can help citizens become stabilized through various forms of therapies. Getting good healthcare, removing the stereotypes and stigmas that keep citizens locked in cycles of homelessness due to mental illness and walking persons through recovery is just one of the many facets of persons finding life stability – along with a roof over their head.
Just think about if you were living on the street, fighting the weather elements, vermin, dangerous persons, foraging for food and living with bipolar, depression, anxiety or any number of other mental illness. In a society already riveting to the point of collapse, our most vulnerable citizens need a helping hand. Mental illness and homelessness is truly “the worst of both worlds”. It is time to for all of us to stop being afraid and to address the root issues – that keep people bound in cycles of poverty, homelessness and even incarceration.
Visit the website at http://baltimoreunitedcongregations.org/ to get more information on the event on October 2. Sign up to attend today. Beth Cantrell and Sheila Helgerson are the Founders and hosts of Baltimore United Congregation. They have been working with church organizations in the city of Baltimore and supporting various organizations who are helping citizens find the help they need to recover and become whole.
You can also call Ms. Helgerson for more information at 410-522-0225.