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The latest news and announcements from Mayor London N. Breed

Mayor Breed, Supervisors Ronen, Haney, and Mandelman Announce Plan for Adult Residential Facility

Plan includes both long-term beds for the mentally ill and short-term psychiatric use of beds while structural changes are implemented to address patient safety and quality of care

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed, Supervisor Hillary Ronen, Supervisor Matt Haney, and Supervisor Rafael Mandelman today announced a plan for the 55-bed Adult Residential Facility (ARF) located in the Behavioral Health Center at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. The plan will allow for 28 beds in the facility to be used for short-term psychiatric respite while 27 beds will remain long-term care beds for current residents at the Adult Residential Facility. The Department of Public Health (DPH) and staff will also be implementing a long-term plan to address patient safety and quality of care at the ARF before converting the beds back to long-term residential use.

This plan will be codified in an ordinance authored by Supervisors Ronen, Haney and Mandelman, which will then be considered by the Board of Supervisors. DPH will begin implementing the plan immediately upon Board approval, which means the temporary expanded Hummingbird beds would be operable starting as soon as November. It also means that all the severely mentally ill residents who choose to remain at the Adult Residential Facility will be able to do so.

“This plan will provide badly needed short-term psychiatric respite for our most vulnerable residents while we develop and implement policies and practices to maintain the long-term viability of this facility,” said Mayor Breed. “Ultimately, our job is to make the best use of the resources we have to help our most vulnerable while we also work to expand and grow our mental health services to help those in crisis on our streets. I am pleased that we are doing just that with this plan and I want to thank the Supervisors, the Department of Public Health, and workers for their collaboration on this solution.”

“I am very thankful that we were able to come together and work out an agreement that will support the stability and health of severely mentally ill residents of the Adult Residential Facility, protect the long-term care beds that we desperately need, and at the same time address the crisis on the streets,” said Supervisor Ronen. “As Board and Care homes close across the City, it’s essential that we protect the long-term beds for severely mentally ill people that we do have.”

“This is a solid compromise that protects essential long term care beds, while creating badly needed short-term shelter beds to get people off the streets and immediately connected to services,” said Supervisor Haney.

“This is a good outcome all around,” said Supervisor Mandelman. “We have a clear and realistic path to the successful operation of the ARF as a high quality, long-term residence for people with severe mental illness. Meanwhile, the plan ensures that we use every available bed to move seriously ill folks off the street and into care.”

In August, DPH announced plans to convert 27 of the existing long-term residential beds in the Adult Residential Facility for short-term psychiatric respite in the Hummingbird Place program. DPH was proceeding in the interest of client safety and quality of care, and in response to demand for psychiatric respite. However, concerns were raised by some in the community and some staff members about what this meant for the future of the facility and its residents.

Both Supervisors Ronen and Mandelman introduced separate ordinances laying out a future plan for the ARF, which were both pending at the Board. The Mayor, the Supervisors, and DPH worked together to find a solution that would keep residents in their homes and improve the long-term viability of the ARF, while allowing for expanded services for short-term psychiatric respite while that work was being done.

“The San Francisco Department of Public Health’s top priority is patient care. We are grateful to the Mayor and Supervisors Ronen, Haney, and Mandelman for working through this issue to find a path that puts patients first, continues to provide services, and lays out long-term stability for the residents of the ARF board and care,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, Director of Health. “We share the urgency to improve the lives of San Franciscans who are experiencing homelessness, mental illness and substance use disorder. These residents are in great need of care and housing, and their health affects our entire community.”

Specifically, the plan calls for the following in the short-term (next six months):

  • 27 beds will continue to be used as long-term care beds in the ARF
  • 28 beds will be used as Hummingbird beds
  • DPH will work with staff on a plan to address patient safety and quality of care at the ARF with the goal of converting 14 Hummingbird beds back to long-term care beds by April 2020, if the plan is approved by the California Care Licensing Board.
  • Final bed distribution will be 41 ARF beds, 29 Hummingbird beds, restoring the balance from August 2019.