CHAPTER 452

FORMERLY

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 7

AS AMENDED BY

HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

ESTABLISHING A SPECIAL STUDY TASK FORCE TO EXAMINE THE EXTENT AND SERIOUSNESS OF THE PROBLEMS OF THE HOMELESS AND HOMELESS MENTALLY ILL POPULATIONS IN THE STATE OF DELAWARE, AND TO MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVING THE PLIGHT OF THESE INDIVIDUALS.

WHEREAS, nationwide, as many as three quarters of a million people are homeless on a given night and 20 to 40 percent of that population are mentally ill; and

WHEREAS, since the deinstitutionalization of mentally ill patients from hospitals in the 1960s began, the homeless and homeless mentally ill population has steadily increased in the City of Wilmington and across the State; and

WHEREAS, this process was intended to release those patients, many of whom were held against their will, that did not require hospitalization; and

WHEREAS, it was believed that many of these patients could adequately and safely be cared for on an outpatient basis in community based health facilities; and

WHEREAS, it is recognized that many homeless citizens are mentally 111 and are not receiving the necessary medical care and housing required for them to lead stable and normal lives; and

WHEREAS, the number of children among the homeless is dramatically increasing nationwide; and

WHEREAS, our communities have not adequately reached out to actively help the homeless and the mentally ill among them by allowing outpatient facilities in their neighborhoods; and

WHEREAS, community based and national services for mentally ill are dwindling due to budget cuts; and

WHEREAS, homelessness and mental illness syphons citizens from all aspects of our society; and

WHEREAS, since Delaware prides itself on being the First State it should take the lead in understanding and helping this segment of its population.

NOW, THEREFORE:

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives and the Senate of the 136th General Assembly of the State of Delaware that a special Study Task Force be formed to review available information concerning the homeless and homeless mentally ill in Delaware, to examine the extent and seriousness of the problems of the homeless and homeless mentally ill populations in the State of Delaware to review existing public and institutional policies, practices and administration and make recommendations for any changes deemed necessary, including the practices and effects of deinstitutionalization and the nature and level of community support for the homeless and the homeless mentally ill after deinstitutionalization and to make legislative, policy and administrative recommendations by January 15, 1992 to the Delaware General Assembly in a Task Force Study Report for improving the social, economic and health plight of these individuals.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the 136th General Assembly that said Study Task Force to be appointed by the Governor of the State of Delaware shall include a representative from the House of Representatives, the Senate, Sojourners Place, the Ministry of Caring, the Disabilities Law Program, the New Castle County and City of Wilmington Police Departments, the University of Delaware College of Urban Affairs and Public Policy, the Alliance for the Mentally 111, the Medical Center of Delaware Emergency Admissions, Community Legal Aid of Delaware, Delaware State

Hospital, Mental Health Association of Delaware, the Young Women's Christian Association and two staff persons from the Division of Alcoholism, Drug Abuse and Mental Health of The Department of Health and Social Services.

Approved July 5, 1991.