I was at McDonald's last night and saw this old man sitting at a table alone, not eating. I watched as he got up and scooted out into the parking lot on his walker, looking around every few moments confused. After watching him scoot around aimlessly for a while, I decided to go ask if he needed any help. He told me he was hungry, then he got really upset, refusing the food I offered. He was clearly suffering from a mental disability. I (left him a bag of food despite his refusal, and) called the police to check on him.

Now I'm left wondering what happened. Assuming this was a homeless man with serious mental disabilities, what would the police be able to do for him? Do any social policies exist for this situation? Was he likely questioned and left alone? Taken in, cared for via some government program?

I live in Louisiana, in case that's pertinent.

2 Answers 2


At the federal level,

Funding is available from various programs run by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as from the Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH). Additionally, the United States Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in February 2009, which includes $1.5 billion for homelessness prevention and re-housing (National Alliance to End Homelessness, 2009)

according to the National Coalition for the Homeless They also have additional resources linked in the article.

In Louisiana, you have the MAISON DES AMI OF LOUISIANA (FOR THE MENTALLY ILL) (http://www.shelterlistings.org/details/22139/)

  • Also Social Security, Medicare, and SSI, which are a foundation everywhere in the U.S.
    – ohwilleke
    Feb 11 at 19:03

I live in Louisiana, in case that's pertinent.

Alas, it is, Louisiana is in the bottom 5 states in terms of highest prevalence but lowest access access to mental health care services:


But to answer the question, it's actually too broad and/or localized. What services are available are going to vary wildly from state to state, county to county and city to city.

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