Posts Tagged: mentally ill
A homeless man asleep on the street in San Francisco. (Photo: Izzy Bouchard, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: Nearly 5,000 unhoused Californians died in 2021, many of them drawing their last breaths alone on our streets. California, which boasts the fifth largest economy in the world, cannot continue to let our neighbors die in public; it’s time for something different.
Californnia Gov. Gavin Newsom, chatting with a homeless man in Fresno, has proposed a sweeping overhaul of California's mental health care system. (Photo: Governor's office)
Newsom’s plan would create an entirely new system of civil court supervision, connecting individuals with intensive treatment and, equally important, housing. By his estimate, it would help 7,000-to-12,000 severely mentally ill people each year, many with chronic physical conditions that are worsened by life on the streets, clearly unable to care for themselves. It would not replace existing programs.
Nick and Amanda Wilcox of Penn Valley with a portrait of their daughter Laura, whose murder inspired "Laura's Law." (Photo, Laura Mahaffy, The Union)
In a significant policy shift spanning nearly two decades, 30 counties in California – including all of the larger counties with an estimated 80 percent of the state’s population – have now adopted a 2002 state law giving families a legal avenue to get severely mentally ill relatives into treatment.
Housing construction at a new California neighborhood.(Photo: Marilyn Volan)
As California rents and property values continue to rise, it should come as no surprise that three housing-related measures will face voters on the November ballot, targeting veterans’ home loans, local rent control and housing construction for the homeless. Statewide, the average rent on a one-bedroom apartment is about $1,400, and a home costs $440,000 — far more than double the national average of $180,000.