Ventura County Ends Mental Health Program for Homeless
Ventura County on Monday shut down a program that aimed to help homeless people with serious mental illnesses regain control of their lives because Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) in August vetoed $55 million in spending for the statewide program, the Ventura County Star reports.
The program in six years provided 62 homeless people with 24-hour assistance and was considered effective in reducing hospitalizations and increasing employment. However, the county lost about $917,000 in funding when Schwarzenegger made $700 million in budget cuts to pass the state budget.
Meloney Roy, acting director of the county Behavioral Health Department, said the agency is working to ensure that program participants now visit county mental health clinics for treatment.
The county should find out soon if it will receive state funding for a similar program through Proposition 63, which voters approved in 2004 to expand services for the mentally ill, according to Roy (Wilson, Ventura County Star, 10/16).