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Rate of homeless people with mental illness on the rise in Alameda County

Over the past two years, the number of homeless people with mental illness in Alameda County has increased by 35 percent, a study finds.

The report, based on a census taken earlier this year and compiled by EveryOne Home, found that countywide, there were 1,106 homeless individuals with mental illness, compared to 818 in 2011, according to California Healthline. Further, the number of mentally ill homeless people has doubled over the past decade.

Elaine de Coligny, executive director of EveryOne Home, explained that Proposition 63 (also known as the Mental Health Services Act) funding was used to provide housing for the mentally ill homeless in 2006 and 2007, but that money has since been put toward sustaining those individuals rather than offering housing to others.

EveryOne Home also cited the possibility of homelessness triggering mental illness, as well as better awareness of mental illness on the part of those surveyed as possible contributing factors.