It is not known how many homeless persons are someone's reported (or un-reported) missing loved one, but many of them are estranged from family members due to severe mental illness and/or co-occuring substance addictions.
It is important to consider that anyone with an untreated mental illness could be extremely vulnerable to harm and exploitation due to his/her state of mind. An unaccounted for and unreported as missing person with untreated mental illness is susceptible to even more danger as they are simply not on anyone's radar. It is an unacceptable outcome.
Our founder, Libba Phillips and her family, searched endlessly for her sister when she disappeared in 1999. Her family's repeated attempts to file a missing person report with law enforcement were not taken seriously until four years later in 2002. Even after being 'found' the first time in 2007, she has had a continued history of being lost and homeless with untreated mental illness and co-occuring substance addiction problems for many years. At last count, Ashley has been 'lost' and sometimes 'found' 9 times in the span of twenty years. To date - in 2020, Libba's sister's location is unknown. We must take another look at 'homelessness' and consider that there are those in that population who may be lost among us.