As we proceed to return again from the pandemic, we can’t be glad about the way in which issues had been.
Now is the time to handle a few of the state’s most urgent challenges, together with the housing and health wants of the greater than 161,000 folks experiencing homelessness in California.
Homelessness is a fancy problem that requires vital investments in housing and supportive companies. Since behavioral health circumstances can contribute to homelessness or be worsened by it, responsive health care methods are additionally wanted. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s deliberate funding of $12 billion to finish homelessness will place some 65,000 folks in housing, and supply housing stability to greater than 300,000 others.
As vital as that’s, the governor’s plan goes nicely past that, increasing the capability of the behavioral health system to make sure that now we have a mannequin of care that’s accessible and meets folks the place they dwell.
The governor’s California Comeback Plan builds upon two revolutionary packages that offered 42,000 Californians shelter from COVID-19 and created 6,000 reasonably priced housing items. Within one yr, Projects Roomkey and Home key did extra to handle the homelessness and reasonably priced housing crises than something performed earlier than in California, and so they’ve grown to be nationwide fashions.
But our efforts should proceed. To guarantee housing stability for all, we should increase the brick-and-mortar capability of our behavioral health companies. The proposed $2.45 billion Behavioral Health Continuum of Care Infrastructure Program will do exactly that via aggressive grants to accumulate and rehabilitate properties.
This will outcome in roughly 15,000 new beds, items, rooms, and outpatient therapy slots for each housing and therapy for youth, adults with disabilities, seniors, and other people with extreme behavioral health circumstances. These community-based companies will present important care to cut back homelessness, incarceration, and pointless hospitalizations, which will profit each of the people receiving companies and our society itself.
There’s far more to the Continuum of Care, together with a $4.4 billion funding in kids and youth’s behavioral health, and a $1 billion funding in amenities for grownup and senior care. Services will deal with a broad and sophisticated vary of points affecting mental and emotional well-being, together with alcohol and different substance use problems, stress, trauma, grief, and anxiousness.
Finally, the wide-ranging California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) initiative will play an essential function in addressing California’s homelessness disaster. CalAIM will reform health care supply in order that it serves the entire individual and this will embody help with discovering housing and paying for move-in prices, case administration to assist folks to keep house, and care coordination to assist ongoing connection to therapy and care.
Californians might be assured that treating the causes and results of each mental sickness and homelessness are, and will proceed to be, prime priorities for Gov. Newsom’s administration.
We are working in direction of coordinated, patient-centered, complete care: a whole-person system that integrates a full spectrum of housing, health care, behavioral health, and different social companies. The essential behavioral health investments described above are key to that.
Will Lightbourne is director of the California Department of Health Care Services. Kim Johnson is the director of the California Department of Social Services