Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer
Wednesday, March 8, 2020 - NEWS RELEASE
San Diego - Today Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer, County Chairman Greg Cox and Supervisor Nathan Fletcher outlined a $25 million commitment to be made to behavioral health providers to invest in additional service capacity for individuals struggling with mental illness or addiction.
"Mental illness and drug and alcohol use are the most challenging issues on our streets right now. This fund is a game-changer to get more people indoors with treatment and a roof over their heads," Mayor Faulconer said. "This fund comes at a time when many properties, like hotels and motels that are sitting empty, could be acquired or leased to meet this need. San Diego will continue to be creative, innovative, and lead to address both the coronavirus and homelessness."
The City-County agreement was in the works well before the COVID-19 pandemic. The “Behavioral Health Impact Fund” approved by both the City Council and County Board of Supervisors – redirects $25 million in local funds stemming from a settlement of redevelopment litigation to help behavioral health providers expand their capacity with one-time capital improvements mental health assessment and treatment, detoxification, crisis stabilization, residential treatment and supportive housing. Potential projects must be approved by both a City and County representative.
“I’m excited to see our Board approve this groundbreaking agreement that I announced earlier this year,” Cox said. “The County and the City will be able to accomplish more working together as this fund will help organizations working on the front lines to serve the most vulnerable members of our society. Especially now with this COVID-19 crisis, the need is greater than ever for services and treatment for mental health and substance abuse disorders.”
Mayor Faulconer, County Chairman Cox and Supervisor Fletcher have fostered a partnership between the City and County over the past year that has led to an increase in mental health services including reinstating a program to connect frequent 911 callers to assistance, realigning resources being put toward behavioral health services, and working to increase behavioral health bed capacity.
“The Behavioral Health Impact Fund is another example of our commitment to ensuring the City and County have a collaborative relationship," Fletcher said. "The $25 million will help people struggling with mental health and substance abuse by awarding San Diego organizations with one-time capital costs to upgrade their facilities and purchase new equipment. Investments in local providers will make a positive impact on increasing capacity for long-term behavioral health services and strengthen our continuum of care.”