Commissioners Discuss Using Some Proposition 63 Funds To Address Homeless Residents
Members of the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission on Friday said more Proposition 63 funds need to go toward establishing mental health programs for homeless state residents, the Contra Costa Times reports. One goal of Proposition 63 is to reduce homelessness, incarceration and institutionalization by reducing untreated cases of mental illness, according to the Times.
Commission Chair Darrell Steinberg said commissioners need to "make sure that this funding makes a significant impact on the homeless problem."
Some Bay Area officials said that the fund allocation process should include a count of the homeless population.
Steven Mayberg, director of the Department of Mental Health, said the distribution formula is not based on the homeless population because the state has no reliable data on the number of people who are homeless. Mayberg told commissioners that the formula cannot be altered for the next three years because counties have been basing programs on revenue estimates from the current formula. He said the state will develop a way to measure the homeless population over the next three years.
Steinberg said DMH should create a separate fund dedicated to homeless outreach if it cannot immediately alter the formula (Steffens, Contra Costa Times, 7/23).