News Releases
The latest news and announcements from Mayor London N. Breed


Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Contact: Mayor’s Office of Communications, 415-554-6131



Mayor lays out plan to have 70-90 new mental health beds and announces introduction of conservatorship legislation for those suffering from severe mental health and substance use issues

San Francisco, CA – Mayor London N. Breed today announced the expansion of mental health beds in San Francisco and the introduction of legislation that would allow the City to temporarily conserve individuals suffering from severe mental health and substance use issues. Her plan for new mental health beds will include adding 70-90 new mental beds next year.

Mayor Breed will be introducing the legislation to enact Senate Bill 1045, authored by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), along with Supervisor Rafael Mandelman at today’s Board of Supervisors meeting. Mayor Breed made today’s announcement along with Senator Wiener and Supervisor Mandelman at Hummingbird Place, the first Navigation Center specifically tailored to serve clients with behavioral health and substance use issues.

“This is about getting people who are severely ill the help they desperately need,” said Mayor Breed. “There is a small subset of our homeless population that are clearly, visibly suffering on our streets. They are frequently in and out of the hospital or criminal justice system, but they never receive the comprehensive care they need to stabilize and get back on their feet. It is simply inhumane for us to allow them to continue to deteriorate without intervening.”

To meet her goals of adding 70-90 new beds in the next year, Hummingbird will double its existing capacity by adding 14 new beds in January. In addition, Mayor Breed has directed the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) to expedite and expand a plan to add mental health beds at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. The original plan was to add around 40 more mental health beds in 2021. Mayor Breed has directed SFDPH to explore ways to increase the number of beds and deliver them sooner. In addition to providing innovative services to treat patients, these beds can serve individuals at varying stages of the conservatorship process.

Mayor Breed and Supervisor Mandelman will introduce the legislation at today’s Board of Supervisors meeting to implement local conservatorship laws, a tool that became available to San Francisco in September when Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1045 into law. At the time, Mayor Breed directed City departments to begin preparing to move this program forward and outreach has already begun with local stakeholders.

“I am thrilled that San Francisco is moving to implement my bill, SB 1045, which will help some of our most vulnerable residents get the help they need,” said Senator Wiener. “Today’s rollout means we are closer to getting people off our streets and into housing and services that will help them get healthy. I am grateful to Mayor Breed and Supervisor Mandelman for understanding that the faster we implement this tool, the faster we can help those suffering on our streets.”

“We cannot continue to allow our neighborhoods to serve as open air mental institutions, our jails as shelters, and our hospitals as temporary way stations between the two,” said Supervisor Mandelman. “SB 1045 is not a cure-all, but it does offer a new tool to help people suffering from severe mental illness and addiction. Its implementation also gives us an opportunity to take a hard look at our response to these challenges, to build on what’s working and fix what’s broken.”

The first 14 new beds will open at Hummingbird Place in January 2019, bringing the total number of beds at the facility to 29. Hummingbird, which is located in the Behavioral Health Center on the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital campus, served 363 clients last year and provides day and overnight programs to adults with mental health and substance use needs.

“When a person walks into Hummingbird Place, it means they want to change their life. We are grateful to Mayor Breed for expanding these needed services for some of the most vulnerable San Franciscans,” said Roland Pickens, Director of the San Francisco Health Network, the health care delivery system operated by the Department of Public Health. “The psychiatric respite model gives people a break from the stresses of the streets, an opportunity to regroup in a home-like environment and a chance to move toward recovery and wellness with the help of peer counselors.”

SFDPH estimates that SB 1045 legislation would impact between 50 and 100 people in San Francisco. These individuals are the most likely to require City services—12% of the total homeless population that accessed SFDPH services in the last year accounted for 73% of the costs.

SB 1045 goes into effect on January 1, 2019. Under this law, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has to pass an ordinance to enact this new conservatorship program.