JEROME CLEARY: The real works begins now that Prop 1 passed

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Now more than three weeks after California’s primary election, we are finally having the outcome of Proposition 1: the ballot measure that aims to restructure the state’s mental health treatment system.

Voters had approved the measure narrowly outweighing the no votes. The reason Prop 1 struggled to convince the masses was selling it to the voters. This won by less than 30,000 votes.

Proposition 1 authorizes $6.4 billion in bonds and directs billions more annually to finally fix our broken mental health system and move people permanently off the streets, out of tents, and into treatment.

More than $20 billion has been spent on homelessness during the past five years. When voters have seen all the money spent in the past, they still see homelessness as a problem. Then they are asking why we are being asked again and again for more money and where has all the money gone.

There are two parts to Proposition 1: the first is for the $6.4 billion bond which goes towards building 11,000 new treatment beds. The second is for mental health treatment, addiction treatment, and housing for veterans who are at risk of experiencing homelessness.

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The further part is the defense policy changes with the way counties will do their mental health budgets In the future. Counties provide most of our state’s specialty and severe mental health services. The money that comes from the Mental Health Services will end up being changed, with one-third going towards housing interventions and one-third going towards comprehensive services for people who are homeless. The last third of the budget will be for everything else that they are already doing.

These large-scale changes are going to take some time as these budgets are planned. It will be several years as the county must submit their plans in three-year increments so it will be about 2026 before we see the new plans and changes.

The first changes that we will see are with counties already doing things that no longer will fit into these or they do not have the money for anymore. This is where you are going to see cuts or rearranging.

It will be crisis intervention, peer counseling, and teen drop-in centers that if the counties do not have money for it anymore then they must find other funding.

They will have to find ways to fit it into this new structure or they will make cuts when it comes to residential treatment beds. It will take some time which will come in grants. There will be an ongoing competitive grant process before we see it all evolve.

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About Jerome Cleary
Jerome Cleary was a columnist for West Hollywood Independent, blogger for AOL’s Patch for West Hollywood, published in the LA Times, The Advocate, Frontiers Magazine, formerly on the Lesbian and Gay Advisory board, was named as a Local Hero of West Hollywood in LA Weekly and is a small business owner in West Hollywood.

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Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
22 days ago

A Gavin Newsom do-nothing project that will just run up the bills due to the homeless-industrial complex. You reap what you sow.

John Smith
John Smith
24 days ago

I have no confidence in state government. It would be amazing if this put even a dent into the problem, but we know it won’t.

We have one-party rule in CA, because there’s a massive “government dependent poor class” of citizens that always vote in that direction. With illegal immigration this group always gets larger.

We pay the highest taxes in the country—and receive the fewest benefits.

The taxpayer base will continue to leave, and there will be no more “other people’s money” to fund this failed experiment.

WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
25 days ago

I love you guys so much, but I stopped reading after a couple of paragraphs. It might be a good idea to get someone to do some quick editing.

Long Time Resident
Long Time Resident
25 days ago

Many mentally ill homeless are resistant to treatment. How does this bill deal with that? Are there provisions for enforceable confinement against their will?

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
25 days ago

That’s a very good point, LongTimeResident! We should look into the way the mentally ill homeless were treated pre: Gov. Pat Brown. Gov. Pat Brown (father of former Gov. Jerry Brown) and the Assembly decided it was a violation of the civil rights of the homeless mentally ill to require them to live in state run facilities where they could be taken care of, so they were released “if they promised to take their medicine”. This was at the end of Brown’s last term in office so it was up to the next governor to enforce this new law who… Read more »

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