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Breaking news: June 27, 2008

In yesterday's/this morning's final Budget and Finance Committee meeting for the 2007-2008 municipal budget, the Supervisors added back most homeless concerns, except: 1) Ella Hill Hutch shelter remains unfunded; 2) While Tenderloin Health got its funding back, it has not received additional funding to go 24 hours, in order to make up for the loss of Buster's Place. It is not too late to fight for these changes! The first meeting of the full Board on the '07-'08 budget will be July 15. (from Jennifer Friedenbach e-mail)

MAJOR BUDGET CUTS INCREASING HOMELESSNESS IN SF (updated June 24, 2008)

Budget Analysis

Proposed budget that the Board of Supervisors is currently deliberating will terminate critical health and human services if passed in its current state. Homeless people, the most destitute of all San Franciscans, have been singled out in this budget to be hit especially hard.

The major areas that will devastate homeless people include:

Homeless Families

1) *Almost total elimination (66% cut) of SRO Families United program for families with dependent children living in hotels.

Department of Public Health $200,000

2) Housing Subsidy for Families. Subsidy serves homeless families in private rental market, up to $500 per family per month. Reduction of $45,000 from Hamilton, will mean no new families served next year unless there is turnover. $290,000 cut from Compass, will mean total number of families served will be reduced from 200 down to 150 (currently serving 93).

Homeless Single Adults:

1) Buster’s Place Closure/ Tenderloin Health homeless drop-in serving 300 poor people daily/16,000 unduplicated clients a year. Provides mental health services, substance abuse, harm reduction, crisis intervention, hygiene, medical care, shelter reservations and more.

Human Service Agency $397,446 (Mayor added back $400K) This program needs expansion of hours as well to operate during the night time as Buster’s Place closure meant deep loss of capacity in emergency system. This would require an additional $400,000.

2) *Closure of Caduceus Outreach Services, Outpatient mental health treatment program providing psychiatric treatment and intensive support (including medications, crisis intervention, benefits, criminal justice advocacy and housing) for severely disabled homeless adults. Lifeline for all 100 clients would be cut.

Department of Public Health $150,000 (Mayor added back $200K)

3) Cut of 22% of residential substance abuse and mental health treatment programs budgets.

i. *Of particular concern: 13 0f 28 Baker Places Medically Supported Detox slots would be eliminated. Only provider in city of these services, not even available in hospital. Will result in 593 fewer detoxes for clients a year.

Department of Public Health $0 (Mayor funded in full)

4) *Shelter Monitoring Committee Minimum Shelter Standards staff person. The Board passed explicit language adding one staff person to the Shelter Monitoring Committee to investigate complaints of shelters being out of compliance with standards. Currently, implementation of legislation is at a stand still without adequate staffing, and complaints are piling up without investigation.

Department of Public Health $70,000

5) Health and Hygiene in the shelters. This is critical funding for soap, sheets, clean blankets and other health and hygiene items for city funded shelters.

Department of Public Health $300,000

6) Cut of 30% to all outpatient substance abuse and mental health treatment

7) Closure of Ella Hill Hutch shelter serving up to 130 homeless men and women every night in the western addition. Department of Human Services $281,730

8) DEAP Eliminate program that assists 120 homeless people annually with obtaining disability benefits, including the only neuro-psych and psychiatric screenings, which are critical to approval for SSI. Grant reimbursed at 75% for Medical providers and 50% for other staff. Very Cost effective, as they have 85% success rate. This program has demonstrated that for every $1 spent, the city receives $5 back in medical and general assistance costs.

Department of Public Health $511,000

9) Potential closure of two large shelters during daytime hours – Episcopal/Next Door

Department of Public Health Episcopal Community $122,286 (144 clients annually lost) Next Door $17,852 (21 clients annually lost)

10) Elimination of Stop substance abuse treatment program. 60 clients would lose treatment. Department of Public Health $0 (Mayor funded in full)

11) Eliminate Private Provider Network: 1,600 people losing mental health treatment through private provider network. This is contrary to the single standard of care legislation that was passed by the Board of Supervisors in 2005. This legislation requires that uninsured patients have the same access to mental health care as those with insurance.

Department of Public Health $1,346,428


This information has been provided by:

Jennifer Friedenbach Executive Director Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco 468 Turk Street San Francisco, CA 94102 (415) 346-3740 x 306 fax: 775-5639

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