A homeless mentally ill man in Saskatoon has shared his story of turning to the help of his neighbours for help after he was left with a mental illness and homelessness.
John Aroldo says he’s a homeless man in need of a home, but he doesn’t have one right now.
He says he needs some mental health help.
He’s not alone.
Arooldo says the number of homeless people in Saskiswap city has exploded in recent years, with the population increasing by roughly 10 per cent every year.
He believes the city’s response to homelessness is not working, especially when it comes to mental health issues.
“It’s a problem that people with mental health challenges are struggling to get access to services, and that’s a real issue that needs to be addressed,” Arondo said.
A group of people have been living in the backyard of a local home for the past few months.
It’s a quiet area in the neighbourhood, but Aroaldo says it’s filled with noise and people constantly moving around.
“If you get in a fight, people will get involved.
It makes it difficult to get things done,” Arodoso said.
It wasn’t until a month ago that Aroaldeos neighbours showed up and started helping him find a place to live.
“They were just the people that would show up to help me, it’s like a family, that’s really helped me,” Araaldeo said, adding that his home was “absolutely” his priority at the moment.
A family in need Aroaldo said he needs help because his father is in a long-term care facility, and he also has a sibling with a severe mental illness.
He also said that he and his mother have lived in their own homes for two years.
Aropoldos family has been trying to find an affordable place to settle in the city, but said that they haven’t been able to find much.
“The problem we’re dealing with right now is that the prices for housing is extremely high, the rates are high,” Arotaldeos said.
“And that’s why we’re trying to make some change, to make it more affordable for people.”
The homeless man said he had been living on the streets of Saskatoon for two-and-a-half years, and his parents have been working two jobs to support him and his brother.
He said they’re trying their best to get him a job, but they haven’s been unable to find one yet.
Araaldo said that his father was in a residential treatment facility when he was growing up, but is now homeless and living on a couch.
He was recently kicked out of the residential facility for breaking rules, but has since found employment at a fast food restaurant.
“I was told that they would let me stay there, but that’s just not the case, and now they have to let me go,” A roaldo said with a smile.
“There are other people that need help, but the police don’t give them the same kind of treatment as I do.”
Aroaltos family’s story is not unique, according to a report from the Saskatchewan government.
A government survey found that one in three homeless people living in Saskeswap City has a mental or substance abuse disorder.
In addition, the government said that in the past two years, the number and severity of violent crimes committed against homeless people rose in Sasks, and in some cases went up faster than the national average.
“We know there are a lot of people out there that have mental health problems,” Saskatoon Mayor Brad Wall said in a press release.
“Our goal is to find a solution to their needs that will help ensure that they can live in a safe and healthy way.”
A spokesperson for the city of Saskswap told CBC News that the city is committed to addressing the mental health crisis in Sask’s community.
“When it comes down to homelessness and mental health, we all have a responsibility to our community,” she said.