A new survey using statistics from a local charity finds a growing number of homeless people are fighting mental health issues.
The Rockford Rescue Mission was a part of the new survey, which found that 35 percent of the homeless people the charity served struggled with mental health issues. The survey also found a significant increase in the homeless who struggle with mental illness across the country.
The Association of Gospel Rescue Missions says the number jumped from 32 percent in 2014 to 37 percent in 2015. Now, rescue missions are working on a new initiative to balance mental health services with other needs for clients and guests.
"Well about all we can do is help them realize the need for their mental health medications. Realize the need to reach out for mental health help and to try to help them understand that having a mental illness isn't a crime, there's nothing wrong with having a mental illness it's if you don't do something about it," Men's Crisis Center Supervisor Mike Hendrick said.