When many people think about the holiday season, they picture themselves surrounded by friends and family, sitting around a table full of food, exchanging gifts, and cozying up on the couch to watch a cheesy holiday movie. For people experiencing homelessness, however, the encroaching holiday season means gearing up for survival - both mentally and physically.
Mental health professionals working with people experiencing homelessness say that these individuals experience increased levels of depression and anxiety, whether that be anxiety from spending time with family or anxiety from feeling isolated and alone.
Mikayla, one of our program alumna who is now employed as a full-time Breaktime staff, says that many people’s experiences differ. Some peers she knew who were also experiencing homelessness were fortunate to have a family with whom they could spend time with during the holidays, but others did not share that opportunity.