Society’s most forgotten


Thousands of people with mental illness today are homeless or languish in prisons. And thousands more live in thinly funded “quasi-institutions” that have sprung up to house those who can’t find or afford a more appropriate setting. These dwellings exist in every state and have different names, such as personal care home, rooming house, or residential health-care facility. Some offer just a place to sleep, and others offer “three hots and a cot.” Some have nurses on staff.

WHYY Behavioral Health reporter Maiken Scott joins Dan Gottlieb to present and discuss recent findings on boarding home conditions, which appear to be particularly problematic in the Garden State, home to more than a thousand such places. Other guests include: Robert Davison, director of the Mental Health Association of Essex County, and Mary Lynne Reynolds, director of the Mental Health Association in Southwestern New Jersey.

Maiken Scott’s report Bed Bugs Among Problems at Some N.J. Boarding Homes for Mentally Ill People recently appeared on

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