Supervisors Approve Funding for Homeless and Mental Health Services

Supervisors Approve Funding for Homeless and Mental Health Services title=
Supervisors Approve Funding for Homeless and Mental Health Services
40 Comments
Reads 5761

Santa Barbara County Supervisor Gregg Hart speaking at the February 4th meeting

Source: County of Santa Barbara

On February 4, 2020, the County Board of Supervisors heralded a new program to divert individuals with serious mental illness or substance abuse from jail to services and support. This is one in a host of recent new initiatives focused on diversion, mental health, and homeless services and facilities. In addition, the Board also approved several contracts to increase shelter beds, supportive housing services, and homeless services with community providers.

The new collaborative program, called “transformative” by Board of Supervisors Chair Gregg Hart, will create a new sobering center and an additional co-response crisis intervention team (for a total of three) that consist of a trained sheriff’s deputy and mental health professionals. The Board also approved 20 new supportive housing beds. The programs are funded by a State Prop 47 grant of nearly $6 million to span a 45-month period.

The endeavor, led by Public Defender Tracy Macuga in close collaboration with Behavioral Wellness Director Alice Gleghorn, brings other program partners together including the Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney and local community-based organizations.  The program is uniquely designed to divert individuals with a history of serious mental illness and substance abuse from the criminal justice system to crisis stabilization and comprehensive wraparound services including housing assistance.

Other actions were approved to bolster mental health and homeless services in the county.  Contracts were approved for the establishment of two new mental health supportive services shelter beds in Lompoc as well as $480,000 to fund four new permanent supportive housing beds for transitional age youth (age 18 to 25) in Santa Maria. These beds are funded with state Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) funds administered locally by the County of Santa Barbara. Both projects include funding for wraparound supportive services. 

The Homeless Emergency Aid Program has had a significant local impact with more than 500 persons experiencing homelessness served including 92 persons ending their homelessness by obtaining permanent housing in the first nine months of the state funded program. Housing and service providers contracted by the County for the HEAP program include the City of Santa Barbara, Domestic Violence Solutions, Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley, Good Samaritan Shelter, Northern Santa Barbara County United Way and PATH of Santa Barbara.

Approval of these grants follows the Board of Supervisors approval on January 28, 2020 to assist felony mental health clients through a three-year, $2.4 million grant from the Department of State Hospitals. This project establishes treatment and support services for six individuals annually. In addition, 12 new crisis residential housing beds will also be established for this population through the grant. 

In addition, over the last several months the Board of Supervisors has approved federal, state or local funding for facilities, beds and services to assist vulnerable individuals within our communities countywide. This includes collaboration among The Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara, County departments of Behavioral Wellness and Community Services, as well as community partners to establish 112 permanent supportive housing units for formerly homeless individuals, veterans and families at the Residences at Depot Street and The West Cox Property in Santa Maria.

Finally, the Board approved the direction of $2.5 million in State AB 109 Community Corrections Partnership funds to construct a facility that will serve both felony and misdemeanor clients whose mental health issues prevent them from participating in their legal cases.  A minimum of eight individuals will be treated and receive services in this facility.

For more information about the County of Santa Barbara government organization, go to www.countyofsb.org.

Login to add Comments

40 Comments

Toggle Comments (Show)
a-1585748763 Feb 09, 2020 09:39 AM
Supervisors Approve Funding for Homeless and Mental Health Services

Helena, This is not a solution, Helena. Is it just one more tax dollar sink hole. There is only one solution - use the public guardians office and place this identified mentally impaired street population and place in permanent state run care sanitariums. You are intentionally confusing the issue to ensure no one gets help and even more money gets wasted. Spend MHSA money on the public guardians office, build or convert existing buildings to become state care institutions. Then divert presently paid Homeless Inc staffers to manage this sub-population in a permanent care setting.

a-1585748763 Feb 08, 2020 08:32 PM
Supervisors Approve Funding for Homeless and Mental Health Services

Re-set the clock. Yet another Ten Year Plan To End Homelessness. The last one was obviously so successful, thousands more "homeless" decided to sign up for this new one. We need a Ten Year Plan to End Government Social Worker Perpetual Rip-Offs.

a-1585748763 Feb 08, 2020 07:07 PM
Supervisors Approve Funding for Homeless and Mental Health Services

"The road to Hell is paved with good intentions." If ever there was a circumstance which fit this saying, it is how we address mental health in this County (and Country). The mental health system is completely broken for those people who rely upon publicly-funded mental health services. No data is kept on efficacy, and no oversight is provided to guarantee that the therapy matches what people are suffering from. There's also very rarely any consistency in the service provider - imagine having two sessions with someone and finally feeling like you can divulge what is making you suffer so badly, only to show up and see a new face, or have your appointments cancelled, or only be able to see someone once a week, while you're contemplating suicide. The fact, the mental health services we offer do more harm than good because people who have not had to use them, are under the mistaken impression that serving the mental health needs of poor people in our community IS being taken care of. In a community so full of philanthropy, we might be better off letting everyone know how broken the system is, so that someone can come in and run it like a business, i.e., keep track of its efficacy and success. I sound like a Libertarian, but I'm far from it. I'm just so sick and tired of seeing our mental health system re-victimize those among us suffering so badly. More funding is a wonderful idea, but funding something so broken doesn't fix it.

a-1585748763 Feb 08, 2020 05:34 PM
Supervisors Approve Funding for Homeless and Mental Health Services

Although I strongly support county mental health services, including residential beds for those who can not presently function in society, and think that we, as a society, have a duty to care for those who are unable to care for themselves, there needs to be a much clearer statement of how much money, from which sources, hiring how many people, and, especially, with details, helping how many individuals. This long County press release is insulting to the taxpayers.

a-1585748763 Feb 08, 2020 03:45 PM
Supervisors Approve Funding for Homeless and Mental Health Services

C'mon ppl surely you must see this for what it really is - just ask yourself who will "work" on this project and what they will get paid. It's all about $$. Frankly I've given up on this state of affairs - tax tax tax and force us hard workers to support their overbloated salaries and lifestyles. Until they fix this state of affairs locally and statewide I'd suggest voting Republican down the line. If for no other reason than to force these ppl out.

a-1585748763 Feb 08, 2020 03:08 PM
Supervisors Approve Funding for Homeless and Mental Health Services

It is indeed very strange how money is raised by doing the wrong thing(s). I don't have any background, and maybe this is a complete lie, but this was in the news today of all things "money and politics": The Republican National Committee said it brought in a total of $117 million off online fundraising efforts opposing the impeachment of President Donald Trump from late September through Wednesday, gaining 1 million new donors in the process."..........that's a lot of $$$$$$$$$$$and new donors......YIKES!!!!

a-1585748763 Feb 09, 2020 01:00 AM
Supervisors Approve Funding for Homeless and Mental Health Services

You’re delusional. 75% of Americans wanted the Senate to call witnesses during the “trial”. The day after they voted not to do this, social media was overrun with people saying they’ll never vote for a Republican again.

a-1585748763 Feb 08, 2020 08:57 PM
Supervisors Approve Funding for Homeless and Mental Health Services

Don't forget all the NoTrumpers too, who in 2020 will be fully on board this time. Voting demographics have been shifting too. It is not that progressives did not a good run for the past several decades. However, too much evidence now of progresive failures that can no longer be ignored. Things must now change. No more same old thing, because most of the progressive agenda failed almost totally to deliver what was originally promised. Trump is proving to be the better blunt-speaking, no BS alternative that many are now eager to embrace. He in fact is a doer, more than a talker under all the bluster and media distortion. His election shock and novelty has worn off, and his genuine and welcome accomplishments continue to mount up. Trump will be tough to beat in 2020. California will continue its merry and erratic ways, but outside this coastal bubble most people in the country are very happy being on the Trump train.

a-1585748763 Feb 08, 2020 02:54 PM
Supervisors Approve Funding for Homeless and Mental Health Services

This is a strange press release since the County CEO office rarely sends these- clearly designed to help Das Williams even though he had zero to do with these efforts. He handed out the press release at his debate! Talk about mixing public funds with politics! These monies are all from grants submitted in some cases YEARS ago by the departments involved, and the HEAP money is Federally administered. Pathetic political pandering

a-1585748763 Feb 08, 2020 11:45 AM
Supervisors Approve Funding for Homeless and Mental Health Services

Everyone knows this is a political ploy where money will be made and politics will be decided. Wait until it's too late and grossly overcharge for services in a false attempt to counter the consequences afforded our liberal desires.

dmc53 Feb 08, 2020 10:34 AM
Supervisors Approve Funding for Homeless and Mental Health Services

Some important information was missing. They are now planning 33 housing units on Hollister Avenue next to the Page Youth Center. Up to three occupants are allowed per single bedroom unit. Half of these units are for those with serious mental issues. This 20,000 sq ft facility will be placed on a property of 25,000 sq ft. (possibly 3 stories high). There is no study of impact on the nearby community. It is called permanent housing for this class homeless.

a-1585748763 Feb 08, 2020 10:31 AM
Supervisors Approve Funding for Homeless and Mental Health Services

Voters passed Prop 63- Mental Health Services Act in 2004 and have "taxed the rich" to the tune of over a billion dollars since 2004 - over 15 years ago. Notice how our mentally-impaired street population has exploded since 2004, when our state legislators started throwing this "free" money around with zero accountability. Hannah_Beth Jackson - you have been around that long, so has Das Williams and Monique Limon - account for this money and its exploding counter-productive results. From Calif.gov: "The passage of Proposition 63 (now known as the Mental Health Services Act or MHSA) in November 2004, provides the first opportunity in many years for the California Department of Mental Health (DMH) to provide increased funding, personnel and other resources to support county mental health programs and monitor progress toward statewide goals for children, transition age youth, adults, older adults and families. The Act addresses a broad continuum of prevention, early intervention and service needs and the necessary infrastructure, technology and training elements that will effectively support this system. This Act imposes a 1% income tax on personal income in excess of $1 million. Statewide, the Act was projected to generate approximately $254 million in fiscal year 2004-05, $683 million in 2005-06 and increasing amounts thereafter. Much of the funding will be provided to county mental health programs to fund programs consistent with their local plans. "

a-1585748763 Feb 08, 2020 02:13 PM
Supervisors Approve Funding for Homeless and Mental Health Services

Prop 63 - MHSA mission QUOTE: ""The Act addresses a broad continuum of prevention, early intervention and service needs and the necessary infrastructure, technology and training elements that will effectively support this system". UNQUOTE. Translation: Billions more tax dollars raised went down the drain. Hundreds more public sector union dues-paying employees added to the government payroll. Net result: thousands more mentally impaired persons now left on our streets than before Prop 63 was passed.. Do not keep re-electing these same people who did this to us.

a-1585748763 Feb 08, 2020 10:17 AM
Supervisors Approve Funding for Homeless and Mental Health Services

N-P fleshes out more details about scope and funding of this ersatz project - Peter Adam yet again was the sole voice of reason who will be sorely missed - he demanded outcomes auditing; not just touchy-feely performance litanies, which have always proven to be utterly useless. The whole point of institutionalizing those with serious mental impairments is permanently removing them from the streets. They will not be "made well" in a few weeks, opening their beds for others. Nor will their concomitant "addictions" be cured in short-stay revolving hot beds either. What will be permanent however is the additional county staffing hires and their full compensation packages; even though this "grant" funding will expire in a few years. One more full-time county employment scheme, using our tax dollars to add by stealth even more permanent county staffers; with absolutely no long term impact on the underlying needs which remain getting mentally impaired street addicts permanently off the streets. Peter Adam, you will be sorely missed on the county Board of Supervisors, which will revert to its lack of checks or balances that can even momentarily impede its reckless ways. Case in point. Voters, throw these bums on the current county board of supervisors out. They serve us badly and waste our tax dollars growing problems; not solving anything.

a-1585748763 Feb 08, 2020 07:16 PM
Supervisors Approve Funding for Homeless and Mental Health Services

Peter Adam will not be missed. He never did his homework. Too easy just to say no. He added zero to any discussion or deliberation. He did zero for the Lompoc area. If he had not been so lazy, he could have brought some ideas to the table. Any time he spoke for more than a minute, he was usually reading Bob Nelson's words. At least the other conservative, Lavignino, usually offers something for compromising...and usually with a sense of humor. Adam thought he was funny....but wasn't.

a-1585748763 Feb 08, 2020 02:19 PM
Supervisors Approve Funding for Homeless and Mental Health Services

10:29 You have had 15 years and billions of new dollars to prove something works that gets mentally impaired persons permanently off the streets.. You have failed 100%. You just gave us a much larger problem. Show Peter Adam your out-come audit; not interested in any more fancy promises. No more good money going after bad - you had 15 years to show results after MHSA passed and you have offered nothing in return. Nothing.

a-1585748763 Feb 08, 2020 10:29 AM
Supervisors Approve Funding for Homeless and Mental Health Services

There is no evidence that people will not be helped by "short" stays. They can be diverted into other programs, returned to family support, medicated if needed, stabilized and oriented t the resources of the community, etc. These sort of undocumented arguments (The Sky Is Falling) are meant only to justify doing nothing positive, offering no help and looking away from distress and need.

RHS Feb 08, 2020 08:50 AM
Supervisors Approve Funding for Homeless and Mental Health Services

Ypyeter et al. Please stop with the nonsense. Or maybe you don't want to understand? 8 people at a time can be dozens of people a year--probably at least the 5 times you offer staffed by professionals at that. And, by the way, why is no one of your ilk upset with the $50+K spent per person to keep people in the SB County Jail? I am sure that this program is less expensive than that.

a-1585748763 Feb 08, 2020 02:25 PM
Supervisors Approve Funding for Homeless and Mental Health Services

I have no problem spending $50K a year each, putting street people in jail - get the word out. If you come to California and expect live on the streets and you will end up in jail. Much cheaper than the wholesale degradation of this state we are putting up with now. Homeless Inc is currently very big business for its multiple layers of administrative staff. Spend that same money on jail cells and jail wardens, because that will finally solve the problem. Incarceration; not coddling. I am very okay with that.

Lucky 777 Feb 08, 2020 08:26 AM
Supervisors Approve Funding for Homeless and Mental Health Services

Seems to me this amount of money, which I struggle to even total up and divide by the number of vagrants, could build a beautiful state of the art mental hospital where they could be cared for off the streets and away from threatening the lives and livelihoods of normal working people. If China can build a hospital in a week you'd think we could build facilities for in-patient care for these damaged individuals. Heck build them a spa, and provide jobs giving them new age treatments to overcome their obsessions.

a-1585748763 Feb 07, 2020 03:25 PM
Supervisors Approve Funding for Homeless and Mental Health Services

More county government jobs, more county government employee union dues flowing into Democrat campaign war chests. and more county government pension payments due. Hart panders to the local public employee unions yet again. This is not a local government problem to solve. Hart just created one more magnet for this population to come to, and to be sent to, Santa Barbara.This is a Hannah-Beth Jackson and Monique Limon state problem who should have been spending the billions of MHSA dollars that have already raised for the past decade. Instead Hart grandstands and misspends local county dollars on clearly a state issue. Throw the bums on the county board of supervisors first. Then get our state representatives to use the MHSA funds long intended to take care of this mentally-impaired street people population.

Please Login or Register to comment on this.