The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors carefully considered the City of Sacramento’s request for assistance to implement a federal grant program called “Whole Person Care” (WPC). This program offers significant funding to enhance navigation, case management and outreach efforts that direct homeless individuals, and those at risk of becoming homeless, to mental health and other services as well as housing resources. The grant, however, does not fund actual service delivery or expand the availability of housing.
Following extensive analysis and questions, the Board acted to improve upon the WPC grant’s purpose and intent by identifying Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63) funds to continue helping homeless individuals past the grant’s three-year lifespan. On November 7, the Board unanimously voted to apply $44 million in Prop 63 funds to provide vital services that will complement WPC grant objectives and those of the County’s other homeless initiatives. This action underscores my and the County’s long-term commitment to all of our constituents, including those suffering homelessness. We hope that this partnership with the City will help thousands of homeless people to stabilize their mental health conditions, initiate recovery from drug and alcohol abuse, and secure much needed housing.
From SACCOUNTY NEWS, November 8, 2017
The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors approved the allocation of $44 million over three years in Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funds to expand countywide programs and services for individuals with serious mental illness who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
Staff within the County’s Department of Health and Human Services will begin the process by engaging with the MHSA Steering Committee in the stakeholder input process to develop this revision to the existing plan, as required by MHSA law.
“Yesterday’s action is important for several reasons, but mostly because it allocates additional Mental Health Services Act resources to assist individuals across the County who are homeless and coping with serious mental illness,” said Sacramento County Board Chairman Don Nottoli, Supervisor for District 5. “This is one of many steps we have taken to address issues related to helping people overcome homelessness in our local communities.”
In addition to the mental health funding, the County is also pursuing the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System Waiver with the State. The waiver will increase availability of substance use disorder treatment to meet the needs of the homeless population.
Staff from the County’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will bring that item before the Board for consideration later in the fiscal year.
DHHS staff also provided detailed information about the components within the MHSA fund, possible reversion risks and projected operating deficits. Key findings include:
- MHSA funds available to the County are generally spent within the designated timeframe (usually three years), and there is no accumulating balance of aging funds.
- There is no reversion risk in the MHSA Community Services and Supports (CSS) fund, which funds treatment programs that meet the needs of severely mentally ill homeless individuals.
- Funds within two other components, the Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) and Innovation (INN) have approximately $8.4 million at risk of reversion. Plans for a new project are under development and will address the reversion risk in INN. Plans to address PEI funding at risk of reversion will also be expedited to address the issue.
- Projections indicate that MHSA programs will have an operating deficit in FY 2018-19 and beyond, resulting in significant reductions in unspent funds each year through 2022-23.
The County spends more than $40 million annually addressing homeless issues, as well as an additional $7.4 million each year on new homeless initiatives.
Read the full MHSA report here.