Council Examining Newsom Plan for Treating Homeless with Mental Health, Substance Abuse Disorders

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Amidst growing scenes of human suffering and despair on California’s streets, Governor Newsom on Thursday (March 3) announced a new proposal to involuntarily house homeless Californians suffering from untreated mental health and/or chronic substance abuse disorders. The plan would require counties to create a Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Court to provide court-ordered care plans to treat qualifying individuals for up to 24 months.

The Bay Area Council Economic Institute estimates that as many as 14,000 homeless Bay Area residents (40% of the total homeless population) suffer from at least one psychiatric or substance abuse disorder and therefore may be eligible for care under the new proposal. The Bay Area Council in recent years has supported strengthening conservatorships and other measures intended to provide care to those unwilling or unable to seek support. Our Homelessness Committee is planning to meet with Gov. Newsom’s administration to discuss the CARE Court proposal and provide input. To engage in the Council’s homelessness policy work, please contact Senior Vice President Adrian Covert.

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