Carter Evans, West Oklahoma City

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Evans has struggled with addiction and mental and physical health problems for years, but in 2012 he was able to get effective help. That hasn’t happened with his son, who Evan says is 42, drinks and takes speed, and is living on the streets. “I don’t know whether he’s alive or dead half the time.” Evans lives in an RV tucked in a wooded trailer park along a rough stretch of 10th Street.


Jonathan Roberts, Be The Change Executive Director

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Roberts works with a lot of people like Evans’ son, whose chronic mental health and substance abuse issues inhibit his ability to support himself and sustain a home. Access to mental treatment is hard in Oklahoma, which often ties into substance abuse problems. The stigma attached to mental health issues and being homeless can make it difficult to get resources to fund treatment, Roberts said.

A Deeper Look:

On the Streets

Among the people who were homeless in Oklahoma City in 2014, 35 percent reported mental illness, and 33 percent reported substance abuse, according to the Homeless Alliance. Hover over the bars on the chart below to see how the numbers have fluctuated over time.

Those marked as suffering from substance abuse in the below chart often also suffer with mental illness too.

Source: The Homeless Alliance

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