Council-Sponsored CARE Court Bill Faces First Test

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The Bay Area Council was on hand Monday for a meeting with Governor Newsom and state and local elected leaders to discuss the importance of CARE Court to helping solve California’s homeless crisis. The Governor’s CARE Court proposal would connect between 7,000-12,000 people struggling with untreated severe mental illness—and often also substance abuse disorder—with a court-ordered Care Plan for up to 24 months. Currently, too many of these individuals are tragically dying on California’s streets without any recourse for families or care givers. The recent Bay Area Council Poll found 87% support among Bay Area voters for giving local governments greater authority to use conservatorships to place homeless people suffering from mental and substance abuse issues into treatment.

A CARE Court proceeding may be initiated by family, county and community-based social services, behavioral health providers, or first responders, and departs from longstanding policy by providing care to individuals against their will. CARE Court builds on the significant investments made over the past year into scaling up California’s homeless resolution infrastructure, including a $14 billion investment to create up to 55,000 new housing units and treatment slots.

CARE Court is currently proceeding through the legislature via two vehicles, SB 1338 (Umberg-Eggman) and AB 2830 (Bloom). The Bay Area Council is monitoring the development of these bills and is currently encouraging members to support. Read the Council’s support letter. To engage with the Bay Area Council’s Homelessness Committee, please contact Senior Vice President, Public Policy Adrian Covert.

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