Put roofs over heads

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - FROM THE COVER -

Re­gard­ing “Vote no on di­vert­ing vi­tal men­tal health funds” (Open Fo­rum, Oct. 8): Cather­ine Lau­ren Ret­tagli­ata could not have been more wrong in her ar­gu­ment that Propo­si­tion 2 would some­how re­duce ac­cess to treat­ment for peo­ple with se­vere men­tal ill­ness. With se­verely men­tally ill peo­ple mak­ing up as much as a third of Cal­i­for­nia’s home­less pop­u­la­tion of 134,000, there is a very strong ar­gu­ment that per­ma­nent hous­ing is it­self per­haps the sin­gle-most ef­fec­tive form of treat­ment for this pop­u­la­tion. Prop. 2 pro­vides it by au­tho­riz­ing $130 mil­lion a year from Prop. 63 Men­tal Health Ser­vices Act funds to house the most se­vere of the se­verely men­tally ill.

That’s why Prop. 63 au­thor and Sacra­mento Mayor Dar­rell Stein­berg is one of Prop. 2’s strong­est sup­port­ers. That’s also why the Cal­i­for­nia chap­ter of the Na­tional Al­liance on Men­tal Ill­ness is an­other key backer of the mea­sure. Ret­tagli­ata is to be com­mended for fight­ing to pro­tect fund­ing for men­tal health pro­grams. Hope­fully, Cal­i­for­nia vot­ers will rec­og­nize that the best pro­gram for tens of thou­sands of se­verely men­tally ill peo­ple would be a roof over their heads. Roberto Jimenez, CEO, Mu­tual Hous­ing

Cal­i­for­nia, Sacra­mento

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