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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I Need My Own

A cop with an evil grin points a gun as bodies and tents go flying, and a figure in the foreground stares at their phone looking distressed.

I arrived in San Francisco from Anchorage, Alaska on Feb. 20, 2008. I stayed with the father of my children and my two sons. We stayed in my mother-in-law’s apartment in the Alemany projects. It was there I conceived my second son. I drank and did drugs during this time, while working for my brothers-in-law and my kids’ father through In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS). I went to jail due to domestic violence incidents between me and my partner at the time,

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Falling Through The Cracks: Homelessness in NYC 

A cop with an evil grin points a gun as bodies and tents go flying, and a figure in the foreground stares at their phone looking distressed.

(Part 1) 

 By: Johanna Elattar @2022 

I’m an NYC girl. I was raised in New York City, and I have many great memories of growing up there. When I was in college, Sundays were always spent with friends, having brunch at some trendy spot that we had to get in line for at least two hours (if not more). After brunch, we’d go to The Angelika Film Center.

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Mousey’s Story: Homelessness and Mental Illness

It’s a frigid day in New York as I step outside to check the mail. A snow storm has covered  everything in glistening white, and I’m only dressed in a sweatshirt and jeans. It only takes a minute to check the mail, but I’m already freezing. I open the mailbox and there’s no mail. I’ve forgotten that it’s Martin Luther King Day. I stand on the porch for a second to look at the snow,

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