When Redditor CABlackBear411 arrived at his office the other day, he wasn't expecting to find it covered in writing.
The scrawled purple handwriting appeared to be that of a homeless woman and covered nearly the entire door and window. The writing said things like, "I don't want to get arrest [sic] but their [sic] aren't willing to leave me alone."
She writes about cannibalism and being stalked.
She wrote, "Cannibals are trying to send me to a mental hospital. They won't stop taking me. Parade run [sic] a cult to make Chris look good? Gets women to kill themselves. I may get high or say a few words but I don't rape or follow people around. I never have killed a child..."
While much of the note is unreadable, it is clearly a cry for help from a person who feels unheard.
The National Coalition for the Homeless reports that according to the United States government, 20 to 25 percent of the people experiencing homelessness in this country suffer from a severe mental illness, compared with just six percent of the total population.
Mental illness is also a major cause of homelessness. Though the words and actions expressed by this woman appear to be paranoid delusions, Lauren Kirchner of the Pacific Standard writes that homeless women experience violence at alarming rates. More than a third reported recent physical violence, one third reported recent sexual violence, and two thirds reported threats and intimidation.
More and better mental health facilities can hopefully prevent these kinds of destructive actions in the future.
And if you'd like to help end homelessness, donating or volunteering to organizations in your area can truly make a difference.