SAN FRANCISCO—San Francisco Mayor London Breed revealed on July 23 that over $1 million in new budget investments over the next 2 years will be directed towards residential care facilities that help San Francisco’s vulnerable residents.
“This investment will keep over 350 people housed and cared for,” said Mayor London Breed. “I am committed to doing everything I can to address San Francisco’s homelessness crisis, and the most effective way to do so is to keep people housed. We have a lot of work to do, but this is an indication of my priorities as Mayor.”
According to a press release from the Mayor’s Office, the proposed budget amendment revealed by Mayor Breed will increase operating support by $600,000 over the next two years for nine existing high-intensity care providers in San Francisco. Over $400,000 in the next two years will be distributed for increasing operating support for 28 other basic level care providers.
“I’m proud of the budget and the new budget process, which focused on policy initiatives and transparency. Homelessness and mental health services were the top priorities for the Board in this year’s budget, with over $4.4 million in funding redirected to those issues,” said San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Malia Cohen. “I’m pleased that Mayor Breed is supporting those priorities with this additional investment for our most vulnerable residents.”
Residential care facilities, known as board and care homes, offer long-term housing and support for residents in need of behavioral and medical services. The Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) teamed up to find appropriate programs and housing for residents.
“Board and care facilities play a critical role in housing vulnerable people who would otherwise be homeless,” said Supervisor Rafael Mandelman. “I appreciate Mayor Breed’s work to identify additional resources to keep our existing board and care providers in operation, and her commitment to doing what it takes to get people off the streets and into care.”
The amendment will pursue facilities contracted by DPH, which helps individuals with difficult behavioral and medical health issues—a majority who have histories of homelessness.
Due to funding cuts and lack of resources at the state and federal level, San Francisco helped to bridge the funding gap, but many of the city’s board and care facilities have been forced to close. In the past five years, the number of DPH contracted facilities dropped from 70 to 37.
“Too often San Francisco residents with serious mental and physical health issues end up in crisis situations on our streets and in our emergency rooms,” said Supervisor Vallie Brown. “Board and care facilities are critical to caring for our most vulnerable, and I want to thank Mayor Breed for providing additional resources to ensure these facilities remain open.”
“San Francisco is expensive and for many operators it has been hard to hang on,” said Health Director Barbara Garcia. “While DPH currently invests approximately $2.5 million per year to help make up the difference between the cost of services and current level of funding, this additional investment is critical to bridging the remaining gap in San Francisco.”
A new Navigation Center opened on Friday, August 3 at a Caltrans parking lot near US Highway 101 which will assist over 100 homeless individuals.
“We have not given up on folks and we won’t give up on the people we know need self-support and services the most. That’s why Navigation Centers like this are critical. They change and save lives and that is what we are committed to doing. One person at a time,” said Mayor Breed during a press conference at the opening of the facility.