NEWS & STORIES

New Reports for Policy Makers: CA Behavioral Health and CA Wellness Funds

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San Francisco is a national leader of innovative approaches to homelessness and behavioral health. Yet as the number of people who are homeless in California increases, policymakers struggle to find solutions.

Our JSI California team recently conducted an assessment of San Francisco’s system of care for homeless people who also have behavior-related health needs, such as drug and alcohol misuse, and psychiatric conditions. The resulting report, Behavioral Health and Homelessness in San Francisco: Needs and Opportunities, produced with support from Tipping Point Community and University of California-San Francisco, includes recommendations to improve the city’s health care delivery system, such as:

  1. Improve client data and system-wide coordination.

  2. Improve access and availability of housing.

  3. Increase system engagement by building safe places and implementing client-centered services.

Up to $3 million has been allocated to build a new psychiatric respite center specifically for the homeless.

In addition to supporting solutions to fragmented systems of care, policymakers are considering strategies to align resources to improve population health. Throughout California, JSI has provided sustainability and financing technical assistance to 13 locally supported wellness funds financed by the California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative. A recently published brief, Establishing a Local Wellness Fund: Early Lessons From the California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative, about this work provides recommendations for other initiatives and partnerships that want to implement wellness funds. The brief concludes that wellness funds can facilitate partnerships and strategies to prioritize and meet community health needs.

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