From about the early 60s to the late 80s, there was a movement (primarily in largely liberal states...but it happened all over the US to varying degrees) to free the mentally unstable from state-run institutions where they received therapy, medicenes, food, and supervision. These people were seen as unable to take of themselves without proper supervision and as a result were admitted into these state-run programs. Today, it is said that 60-70% of the homeless population has some kind of serious mental disorder that prevents them from leading a normal life, and taking good care of themselves.
Today, we see the fruits of those who labored to have the seriously mentally ill set free... In major cities all across America, public libararies have the pungent smell of urine, sprawled across benches, harassing other patrons, and sleeping in corners. Our police forces in downtown areas spend most of their time having to deal with the homeless and their actions, instead of being able to focus their time on more important matters. The downtown areas of cities like San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle have homeless on virtually every corner. It is now dangerous to walk through some parts of those cities at night because of this problem.
What was supposed to be "humane" for the mentally ill has sent them scrounging in dumpsters for food, sleeping under newspapers, and getting them addicted to drugs and alcohol. We must re-institutionalize our homeless who are not mentally fit. It was a bad experiment that has backfired badly.