City cuts to long-term mental health beds prompt protest

By Laura Waxman : sfexaminer – excerpt

Elected officials, hospital staff call move to short-term beds for homeless ‘short-sighted’

Dozens of people gathered at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on Thursday to protest what they described as a “short-sighted” directive by Mayor London Breed to close 41 permanent treatment beds for mental health patients in exchange for a shelter-bed expansion at the hospital…

Hospital staff, ARF patients and some city leaders said that they were “blindsided” by the plan and vowed to fight cuts to the ARF, which provides a total of 55 permanent residential mental health beds. In exchange, 14 beds will be added to the hospital’s Hummingbird Place, a short-term psychiatric respite program at the hospital that currently operates 29 beds and where client stays average about 19 days…

Supervisor Hillary Ronen said that the plan to reduce capacity at the ARF was “developed in secret” and that she only learned about it through the advocacy of the hospital workers. Ronen and Supervisor Matt Haney are the proponents of Mental Health SF, an initiative planned for the March 2020 ballot that would provide free mental health care and substance use disorder treatment…

On Thursday, Ronen, who indicated that she would likely call a hearing on the issue, called Breed’s plan a “game of smoke and mirrors to pretend they are doing something without the real deep structural changes that take vision, time, commitment.”.

State-licensed residential treatment beds are among the hardest to secure and operate, whereas Navigation Center beds such as those offered at Hummingbird Place can be opened “anywhere in this city without any OK from the state,” said Ronen…. (more)

Moving people around seems to be a new passion these days. Moving people around against their will is probably the number one cause for the unstable society we are living in today. The first order of business should be to “do no harm.” Moving people around must be making someone rich or why would they do it? Who benefits from this dis-functional system?

 

 

Mandelman tells mayor homeless problem getting worse, not better

By Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt

Supervisor Rafael Mandelman told Mayor London Breed Tuesday that he has seen no marked improvements in the issue of homelessness in the district he represents since she was sworn into office — and in fact it’s gotten worse.

Mandelman called on Breed to respond to his assessment of The City’s effort to address homelessness during “question time” with the Board of Supervisors.

“The unfortunate truth is that in District 8, street conditions do not appear to be improving in a sustained or sustainable way,” Mandelman said. “Particular encampments may get resolved quickly, but my constituents in the Castro, Upper Market, Duboce Triangle and Mission Dolores are not seeing a reduction in the number of homeless folks seeking shelter in public spaces.”… (more)

Puzzling logic in arguments against tax on big businesses to aid homeless

: sfchronicle – excerpt

A slick campaign piece landed in my mailbox the other day, screaming in all capital letters: “Prop. C would spend another $300 million a year on the same failed programs.”

You know, those failed programs that produced the scenes depicted in the mailer’s photographs. The ones of Third World-style tent shantytowns spread along sidewalks in the Mission, with bicycle parts and shopping carts strewn around…

Prop. C is a simple concept, and one that’s getting big-name support. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Rep. Jackie Speier, Assemblyman Phil Ting and seven supervisors support it…

Breed says she opposes Prop. C because she’s not confident the city is spending its money on homelessness effectively, though she didn’t express that concern in backing the two previous revenue measures. Her spokesman, Jeff Cretan, said the mayor’s budget office is analyzing the city’s homeless funding and how it’s being used…

OK, so the programs are successful but they’re also failures. But, really, we don’t know either way and have to audit them. We need more money, but not from the cities’ biggest businesses that can most easily afford it.

Are you confused by the No on C side? I am. Maybe I just need some time to meditate in an infrared sauna… (more)

ECLECTIC RANT: San Francisco Should Opt-in to the SB-1045 Conservatorship Pilot Program

By Ralph E. Stone : berkeleyplanet – excerpt

On September 27, 2018,California Governor Jerry Brown approved Senate Bill-1045 , which creates a five-year pilot program for San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego Counties for a conservatorship program in the Welfare and Institutions Code.

Current conservatorship, the two sections of the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act and probate section provide a procedure to appoint a conservator for people who are “gravely disabled” as result of a serious mental health disorder or an impairment by chronic alcoholism.

SB-1045 expands the scope of conservatorships to allow housing with wraparound services to the most vulnerable Californians living on the streets. In order to be considered for conservatorship under SB-1045, an individual must be chronically homeless, suffering from serious mental illness and substance use disorder such that those co-occurring conditions have resulted in that individual frequently visiting the emergency room, being frequently detained by police under a Section 5150, or frequently held for psychiatric evaluation and treatment. In short, SB-1045’s aim is to make it easier to help troubled homeless deemed too impaired to care for themselves..(more)

As Affordable Housing Crisis Grows, HUD Sits on the Sidelines

By Glenn Thrush : newyorktimes – excerpt

Mr. Carson (the housing secretary), continues to prioritize his push to reduce, rather than expand, assistance to the poor.

WASHINGTON — The country is in the grips of an escalating housing affordability crisis. Millions of low-income Americans are paying 70 percent or more of their incomes for shelter, while rents continue to rise and construction of affordable rental apartments lags far behind the need.

As city and state officials and members of both parties clamor for the federal government to help, Mr. Carson has privately told aides that he views the shortage of affordable housing as regrettable, but as essentially a local problem…

For his part, Mr. Carson publicly acknowledges the crisis in most of his speeches. “Alarmingly high numbers of Americans continue to pay more than half of their incomes toward rent,” he told a House panel in October. “Many millions remain mired in poverty, rather than being guided on a path out of it.”

But he is focused less on federal solutions than on prodding local governments to ease barriers to construction. He has ordered his policy staff to come up with proposals to push local governments to reduce zoning restrictions on new projects, especially low-cost manufactured housing. HUD will also begin working with landlords around the country to come up with ways to make housing vouchers more attractive and more inclusive, aides said.

“Subsidies are a piece of the puzzle,” said Raffi Williams, a spokesman for Mr. Carson, “but we must also address the regulatory barriers relative to zoning and land use in higher-cost markets that are preventing the construction of new affordable housing. This is not just a federal problem — it’s everybody’s problem.”… (more)

SF supervisors thumb noses at SB 827

By Michael Toren : missionlocal – excerpt (includes video)

Board of Supervisors candidate Sonja Trauss escorted off by sheriff’s deputy after wading into crowd of opposing protesters

Sonja exposed

Trauss exposed. Officers separated the two sides though they did not stop the vocal YIMBY chants from disrupting the speakers. Trauss exposed photo by zrants.

Following dueling press conferences, protests and counter-protests, the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday went on record about SB 827, Sen. Scott Weiner’s bill in the California legislature that would reduce restrictions on height and density for residential developments near transit lines.

Kim-Arron.jpg

Jane Kim and Aaron Peskin spoke in opposition to SB 827 photo by zrants

They don’t like it… (more)

Scott Weiner’s SB 827 loses. Residents, homeowners, and city officials win this Will Scott Wiener and the rest of our representatives in Sacramento get the message Aaron Peskin tried to send that the help we need from the state is: Repeal Costa-Hawkins, Amend the Ellis Act and send buckets of money to help solve the homeless problem. We do not a state takeover of local jurisdiction and constant CEQA amendments. There are hundreds of entitled projects in the pipeline that are stalled for physical reasons that have nothing to do with permitting.

As anyone attempting to do any repairs, remodeling, or building knows, there is a severe labor shortage in the construction industry, and importing foreign labor is not easy. There is a shortage of materials and costs are going through the roof due to federal manipulations and an impending trade war. Higher interest rates are drying financing options. The legislation may want to consider how to solve these problems instead of harassing local communities.

RELATED:

Wiener endorses Breed as battle over SB 827 heats up

Move puts state senator on the same side as group that has attacked his longtime friend and mentor, Mark Leno… (more)

SB 827: Land grab in South L.A. communities of color

Not since the “Urban Renewal” projects of the 60s has something so radical and detrimental been proposed…

You will be hard-pressed to find a bill in the state legislature proposed by a Democrat that is a bigger threat to the stability of our community than SB 827, authored by state Sen. Scott Weiner, R-San Francisco…(more)

Note these Southern California residents refer to Senator Wiener as “Republican Senator Scott Weiner”.

No Vacancy for the Homeless

By Joe Eskenazi ; sfpublicpress – excerpt (includes audio link and graphs)

Dozens of Residential Hotels Have Rooms to Spare, but Officials Cannot Force Owners to Rent

Every night, thousands of San Franciscans have no place to sleep. And yet, every night hundreds — possibly thousands — of single-room occupancy hotel units are left empty.

According to the latest count, 4,353 people were living unsheltered in our city. Among them, 1,020 were between 18 and 24 years old. If, by some alchemy, the city could beam them into these empty rooms, the entire population of homeless youths and a decent number of older adults could be indoors by nightfall…

Over the past 20 years, San Francisco has underwritten the price of thousands of formerly homeless residents’ rooms in private hotels run by nonprofits. But now it is a seller’s market. Hotel owners can charge upward of $2,000 for rooms in hotels formerly occupied by the down and out. Other owners are holding those rooms empty, perhaps in search of an even bigger payout down the road when they sell their buildings…(more)