Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Why is he homeless?


Why is my friend with schizophrenia homeless? He’s on his meds.


It’s probably that his med’s don’t take care of all his symptoms.


I can’t say for sure about your friend, but when I began to work with sz patients, it became clear in a hurry that a lot of them prefer to be By Themselves even if they suit up and show up for their med depots and their SSDI checks & food stamps. Many (though far from all) do so poorly in communal living set-ups owing to their paranoia and relentless sense of threat and danger that they just cannot tolerate sharing a bedroom or being in a “barracks.” Most of the participants on this forum appear to be better able to share quarters with others, perhaps (or in part) because they tend to take their meds regularly. Many sz pts on the streets are not on meds at all.


Thank you @notmoses and he goes back & forth from homeless shelters, to hospitals, & my car, until he can get in a group home. His mom will let him stay sometimes at her house, not very often, and that is only if he is with me. He seems fine on the outside, it seems like he can communicate with people well. I don’t think anyone would notice he has a mental illness if he didn’t tell them. He gives me different answers as to why he can’t get a job; sometimes he says a job is overrated; sometimes he says he can’t physically move because of medication, then he told me people make him nervous. Then he tells me he CAN work it’s just because he lost his I.D./SS card. I don’t know what to believe anymore. He will not tell me the truth.

And another thing. I’m not sure what he wants from me. He does absolutely nothing to provide for me. But I feel so bad, I don’t him to be lonely. But I keep questioning as to what his intentions are towards me. Does he want me as a companion, or is he literally using me for money, food, and shelter.

Sometimes he tells me his feelings, then I say something to put resentment in him & he shuts me out! I feel horrible for today. I yelled at him & told him he was using me… I asked him “why are you homeless?”. I feel really bad because its only breaking his trust for me… But he won’t tell me the truth. I have absolutely no idea what’s really going on with him.


i think he might have “anhedonia” and therefore doesnt have any lust to work at a job 9 hours a day.


Why are you polluting the forum with so many questions?

(See how irritating that is?)



Some people become homeless whether their schizophrenic or not. That’s just life. And the reasons for it are varied.


@77nick77 his mom said he was never like this until he became schizophrenic


@pixel because I care about my friend & I’m seeking help. If you don’t like it. Block me. I don’t care.


You absolutely right…
And I think that many sz are homeless because they can’t conform.


That’s a very good yet difficult to answer question. It’s actually quite common amongst people suffering with schizophrenia to be homeless, or to travel the country, constantly on the move. Based on what I’ve seen with my own son, and of others that I know of or have read about, there can be a multitude of differing reasons for this. In some cases it is simply because they have no where else to go. But, I believe many become homeless because they are following the dictates of their voices and delusions. Some feel compelled to move to a different location because they believe their troubles are being caused by where they are living. My son came to believe that all the other residents of his apartment complex hated him and we’re going to harm him. He believe they stole from him and poisoned the water in his apartment complex. He believed the man across the street was conspiring with the police to hurt him. He lived in constant fear, and believed he needed to move. All this, of course, were his untreated symptoms of schizophrenia. Once he was properly medicated, all those fears subsided.

in some cases, the difficulty of living with others that place expectations upon them to get work which they may be unable to manage if experiencing symptoms is simply to much stress, and often times they themselves do not realize that they are ill, so they are unable and unaware themselves of ‘why’ they can not manage a job, so rather than live with the constant negative judgments of others, they prefer to become homeless.

A book I highly recommend everyone seeking to understand more about this issue of homelessness is Bethany Yeiser’s wonderful account of her struggle with schizophrenia and homelessness: “Mind Estranged”. She does a beautiful job of explaining how her symptoms simply created her homelessness.

I believe your friend may simply not be able to explain to you what he is experiencing. I would not question him too much. Rather, just try to be there for him when he is around, build a relationship based on kindness and compassion.