SAN FRANCISCO—In late August, 18 patients living in the Adult Residential Facility at San Francisco Regional Hospital were given 60-day relocation notices. The patients who were asked to relocate need long term care, as they suffer from mental illness, addiction and homelessness. There are currently 55 beds inside the facility that are for long term care. Residents have to relocate by October 19.
The Department of Public Health claims that the reasoning for the change is in hopes to turn 41 of the 55 beds into short-term shelter beds.
The SF Examiner reported that bed space for the long term patients include additional services beyond housing including treatment and resources to assist with their illness. Action has been taken to make changes, but the issue is not slated to appear on the March 2020 San Francisco ballot.
The resolution was backed by San Francisco Board of Supervisors Sandra Fewer and Gordon Mar. On Tuesday, September 17, a health commission hearing regarding the issue was shut down as employees and protesters bombarded the room.
The workers arrived with a petition that had 1,2000 signatures in favor to keep the patients in their current beds and not to relocate.
Board of Supervisors Hillary Ronen and Matt Haney issued the following statement via Facebook in response to the Department of Health’s decision to pause on eviciton of mentally ill residents:
“We were just notified that the Mayor and the Department of Public Health have paused on their directive to displace dozens of severely mentally ill people from the long-term Adult Residential Facility, where some have lived for over a decade.
It shouldn’t have been this hard to get the Mayor and DPH to change an obviously flawed policy decision. Strangely it took Supervisors introducing legislation and direct action by front line nurses and health care workers for the Mayor to rescind eviction notices for severely mentally ill people, who would otherwise be on the street.
If people want to know exactly how broken our mental health system is in San Francisco, they should look no further than that terribly misguided and dangerous decision.
This is yet another example of why we need comprehensive reform. We must repair our broken mental health system. We are putting Mental Health SF on the ballot because we need to ensure that these ill-advised, reckless policy decisions do not happen in the future.”
Written By Jessica Stopper and Donald Roberts