Mayor calls proposed state budget a win on mental health, homelessness
The revised budget proposal released by Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday, May 11 represents a breakthrough in terms of recognizing mental illness and homelessness as priorities for the State of California.
Among other items, the May Revision proposes a one-time expenditure of $50 million that would go to counties to fund multi-disciplinary teams providing outreach, treatment and related services for homeless people with mental illness.
This approach is based on AB 34, which was the first piece of legislation I carried when I served in the state Assembly.
The proposed budget also addresses the state’s shortage of mental health professionals by proposing that $55 million from the general fund be used to support psychiatric graduate mental education programs.
Gov. Brown’s budget also begins to address the state’s exploding problem of homelessness, a humanitarian, public health and economic crisis. The budget proposal contains a $250 million one-time block grant for cities, counties and joint powers authorities that declare a local shelter crisis.
As chairman of the California Big 11 Mayors, I have been working with mayors from other big cities to push for $1.5 billion to be allocated in the final budget for homeless assistance to local jurisdictions.
Cynthia Hubert of the Sacramento Bee wrote an excellent piece on just how powerful homeless assistance like the current triage shelter can be. The pictures below are from the current triage shelter run by Volunteers of America in north Sacramento.