CARE Courts Signed into Law

Governor Gavin Newsom’s CARE Courts are now law after he signed the legislation on September 14. 

Senate Bill 1338, a Newsom proposal, will create a specialized mental health court where judges can compel people with mental health disabilities and substance use conditions into treatment. The bill allows a broad list of “specified individuals” to refer somebody for conservatorship, and sets a similarly broad set of conditions qualifying them for CARE Court.

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Unreal: Homelessness and Mental Illness

It’s a rare chilly morning in August, and I’m not fully awake when I hear the sound of an incoming message on my phone. I force myself to sit up and grab the phone from the nightstand. I see that it’s a message from Jeannie, an acquaintance from high school. There’s a video attached to the message. Jeannie likes sending me funny videos that she finds on YouTube—this one is called “Fake Mental Disorder Cringe.” Right away,

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No CARE in the Courts

In the foreground we see a figure holding a sign that reads "Housekeys not Handcuffs", and a crowd is gathered. In the background San Francisco City Hall seems to loom.

Invest in housing and mental health services, not criminalization

The CARE Court Governor Newsom is backing is dangerous! Senate Bill 1338 would establish “C.A.R.E. Courts’’ in California. C.A.R.E Court has a $65 million starting cost and claims to combat houselessness and support people with mental health disabilities, but provides no funding for permanent supportive housing or mental health services.

CARE Court can require participants to take medication against their will. If they refuse medication for any reason,

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Behavioral Health

(In memory of Luis Temaj Tomas)

I

On Tuesday, October 12, 2021

TV news announced

That a homeless man

Had died from his burns

He had been sleeping 

In his sleeping bag

The previous Friday 

When someone set his

Sleeping bag on fire

At 25th street and South Van Ness

In the Mission neighborhood

In San Francisco’s Latinx neighborhood

He was Latinx.

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After Permanent Housing Added, Shelter Legislation Moves Forward

Supervisor Rafael Mandelman’s shelter legislation is going to the full Board of Supervisors after the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee approved it on a 3-0 vote on May 26.

After several amendments through two committee meetings in May, one thing is for sure: Mandelman’s “Place for All Ordinance” is now a different animal from the legislation he introduced two months before with its primary focus on shelter softened as it moves to the full board on June 7.   

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Where’s the Care in the Proposed “CARE Courts?”

In early March, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Court program, which would create yet another separate court for poor and unhoused people with mental health conditions and substance use disorders. Governor Newsom has explicitly discussed CARE Court as a tool to address street homelessness, and the proposal is consistent with a string of bills nationwide that seek to increase the power of the state to institutionalize unhoused people under the pretense of “compassion.” The devil is in the details,

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Why Mandelman’s Shelter Expansion Plan Doesn’t Fall into Place

Supervisor Rafael Mandelman has been trying hard to get houseless people off the streets. But judging by his new bill, his definition of getting people off the streets does not mean getting them into housing. 

For the second time in two years he is proposing legislation to the Board of Supervisors, where it will be heard first at the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee on May 12. If it passes, it would put people into temporary shelter: a tent in a sanctioned camp,

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Oversight Panel Proposes Homelessness Spending in SF Budget

Rental assistance for 2,000 households, seven street crisis response teams and over 1,400 units of permanent supportive housing for adults, families and youth are some of the highlights from draft recommendations for the city’s Our City, Our Home (OCOH) fund, presented on April 21 and 22 by the OCOH Oversight Committee. 

The OCOH fund, required under Proposition C, was created by San Francisco voters in 2018 to fund permanent solutions to homelessness. The fund raises over $300 million per year through a tax on gross corporate revenue. 

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Mayor Breed Holds Back $3 Million From CART

In the 2021 San Francisco budget process, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously supported the implementation of the Compassionate Alternative Response Team (CART), but Mayor London Breed refused to execute this ordinance, which would activate the peer-led CART teams, because she launched her own version of street outreach called Street Wellness Teams. Yet,  $3 million in funding was secured to begin the implementation of CART,  which currently sits untouched in unallocated reserve for a year.

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Housing is Safety

Four walls. A roof. Doors that can be locked with a key. These are things that provide you with security, safety and stability when you’re housed. It’s easy to take these feelings for granted. I sure did until I lost my housing, and I had to struggle to keep my security, safety and stability in my newly unhoused state.  

Now, imagine if you’re trying to avoid some asshole who’s harassing or bullying you,

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