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Paula / Hamburg

Wow, he made it, that's wonderful! Give him my regards, that is a story of hope, especially in your country which is considered as socially cold and hard over here in Germany.

Clark K.

Well I am not out of the woods yet as I do not have full-time, decent-paying employment and certain political forces seek to eliminate the few supports that I rely on, but yes, I have made a lot of progress, thanks.

Germans are not wrong in their opinion about America being a cold hard place. This is especially true for people who have mental illness. The political climate in America is worse for the mentally ill than it is for gays. We are forced to hide and suffer in silence because America is afraid of what is does not understand. I think this culture of coldness and apathy towards the "weak" is a huge problem that will come to a boil eventually.....

I would love to emigrate to a friendlier climate, but I'm not sure one exists.....

Steve Frenkel

Very touching story. I can't imagine having to battle the system as a homeless individual. With government it's never simple, is it?

Clark

It's true that negotiating government programs is difficult for homeless people, especially those with mental illness. In that Hollywood story "Pursuit of Happyness", the main character played by Will Smith, Chris Gardner, is not known to have any chronic mental illness but he struggled for almost an entire year to work his way out of that mess. We saw the details of why homelessness alone is a tough problem in that movie. But Chris Gardner's mind was healthy, so he bounced back from that failure relatively quickly. Homelessness with mental illness, on the other hand, is more challenging because the instrument used to cope with that stressful environment (the brain) isn't working well. So homeless people with mental illness need more support to escape that situation.

Interestingly enough, it was in fact easier for me to rely on public assistance from the government than my own family and friends who distanced themselves from the situation. So I have absolutely no gripes against the government because it saved my life. From my point of view, the American government was the only source of mercy and compassion in this story.

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