Well this got off topic rather quickly.
Such people require the care of professional social workers trained and educated in that area of expertise. Such care is required life-long for them. Without tax dollars supporting such social welfare programs for the mentally ill, they will only get support when people think of it. It times of economic recession such as that which is current, those who are mentally ill can lose out on the support provided by social workers. Without such support, those who are mentally ill can get into trouble, especially the law if they don't understand their actions.
While I do agree with you that temporary social programs should not become permanent entitlements, there are some things that are too important to be trusted to charitable organizations, whether they be religious in nature or not.
Also, there are many charitable organizations who act more like businesses than charities. Take, for example, the recent earthquake in Haiti. Many charitable organizations asked for donations for that cause. However, only a drop in a bucket of the millions that were donated actually contributed to any Haitian relief yet.
One reason is because such organizations say "a portion of the proceeds" will go to the cause. The rest of it will go to executives and staff of that organization. I believe that Wyclef Jean was under investigation for taking a salary from a charity for Haiti relief that was about a quarter of a million dollars.
That's why the only charity I give money to is a local charity that primarily gives toys to local kids whose parents can't afford them at Christmas. Nobody in that charity organization takes a salary of any kind - all the staff volunteers their time. This way, more of the money can go to the charitable cause.
This has made me see many charitable organizations as corrupt, which is why I'd prefer government organizations instead. While I know that there is government corruption, I think that can be dealt with better than corruption in private organizations.
Senate Rejects Obama Plan to Cut Tax Breaks on Charitable Gifts - Bloomberg
However, it's important to note why he did that. He wanted more money to go to health care. He never said that charity isn't a worthy cause or should be a high priority. Rather, it's more like that money should go to help the health of our nation.
And if people only give to charity for the tax deduction, how charitable is that, really?
For example, what is the likelihood that a Catholic charity that helps children get adopted will allow such children in their charity to be taken care of by gay and lesbian couples? Quite unlikely, since homosexuality goes against the dogma of the Catholic Church. Which means the children under their care will miss out on being taken care of because of the religious doctrine of the charity.
And I have never kept track of my charitable contributions to put on my taxes. Never. Seems odd to me to do that.