People become homeless – unable to rent or own a normal roof over their heads – for a variety of reasons, including illness, bad decisions, criminal records, post-traumatic stress among veterans, unemployment, drug or alcohol addiction, physical disability, or simply the inability to afford housing. Since the de-institutionalization movement began in the 1960s, and the eventual closing of the state mental hospital in Milledgeville, Georgia, more of the mentally ill have become homeless or imprisoned. Some critics now call Fulton County Jail the largest mental institution in Georgia.

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