tv Government Access Programming SFGTV September 9, 2019 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
thank you to recology, emerald fund and alaska airlines because, you know, we have to feed volunteers. you know how that works. we have to have supplies and equipment. ultimately, getting out there, doing the hard work, making it part of your lives and what you do every day to take care of the city and bay is critical to the success of protecting our planet for generations to come. thank you so much. let's win, san francisco. >> well said, mayors. that was excellent. that is a rally. oakland and san francisco if i haven't heard one like that. this is all about the pride, but we are doing this for the bay. we love the bay. no matter what side it is.
we want to thank folks here and we will have a photo at the end with the mayors. we wouldn't be here if it weren't for the california coastal commission. let's hear it for them. the battle for the 35th anniversary of california coastal cleanup day. it is the largest volunteer day in california. on this day tens of thousands of volunteers remove litter from waterways and shorelines and a thousand locations across california. how fitting on september 21st to do this coming together. california stands as one if not the largest contributor that takes place in the bay area. thank you to the coastal commission. we have folks behind me. thanks to the mayors, oakland parks and recreational foundation. jason mitchell, they are ready
they are pumped. joe ginsburg is here. elaine thorn, tommy from california train, golden gate national park. california state parks as well. give them a big hand. i might have mentioned there are more players involved in this effort. right now we will hear from community folks to start with the oakland side. we have a leader with faith in action. representing the east oakland congress of neighborhoods. put your hands together. (applause). >> all right. i am excited to be here. it feels awesome to be here. it is such a an on -- honor to
represent our mayor. good morning, everyone. i am lydia. this wonderful guy says i am a leader with action east bay. i am proud to be here representing the east oakland congress of neighborhoods. [applause.] i would like to thank everyone who made this event possible, and a special thanks to the work group for all of their hard wo work. [applause.] so as representative of the east oakland congress of neighborhoods including fade-in action and the residents we are excited about this campaign and to clean our cities. of course, oakland will fill up our streets, why not, right? this is going to happen on september 21st. we are going to fill up our streets.
sorry, san francisco. sorry. residents who are part of the congress have been organizing for years to bring resources to increase capacity for the public works department in oakland. we are proud of this work and what we have accomplished so far. thanks to this effort oakland has new street cleaning cruise and equipment to address the illinois leg gal dumping issue. we need each one of us in the city. it is not only oakland's responsibility. it is also our responsibility, right? our city and our families and our streets they are affected with this garbage. we must all come together as a community and show our love to our city and our community. so i am here today to challenge one of our city residents to come out on saturday,
september 21st. invite family members, friends, neighborhoods, students, educators and community members to clean our streets, parks, community centers and sewers in every corner of our city. [applause.] so we deserve to live in a clean city. our children and seniors deserve to stay healthy and walk along a safe street. let's put our action in oakland and our community. we love our city. we must be part of the city. thank you. god bless all of you. >> let's hear it for lydia leone. i love it. our other community side. this is a community organizer who has been involved with more
than 100 neighborhood cleanups in san francisco. he has worked extensively with young people to clean up neighborhoods. he believes a clean community is healthy and it takes all of us to make that happen. please happen for the san francisco side the reverend. please come on up. >> san francisco, are you ready? let's do this. we want oakland to know we won it all right. a men. don't forget i am a preacher. i need folks to talk back to me. are you ready, san francisco? clean it up? thank you, thank you. it is a great day to be in the midst of two great women doing a wonderful job in san francisco and in oakland. let's give them a hand. first time, first time. i am part of the trash trackers
in san francisco. what i do. i track down trash. somebody auto say yeah. i track it down. i locate it, find it and clean it up. i have been doing that for 30 years. we have been doing this a long time. we are glad to have oakland come to be a part of this. guess what? we are going to win! we already won it. mayor breed, we got this. we accept the challenge and we are going to do it. i am reminded of a homeless friend of mine. he has been sleeping in tents three years. he is a sad looking guy but a happy looking guy. every morning at 8:30 a.m. he gets up and cleans up around his tent. then he goes to the other block and cleans other homeless men
and women's tents. that is a good example of a community. we are going to have the homeless folks get out and cleanup, too. understand this. our homeless folks aren't the only ones that are making the city dirty. that is not the truth. it is construction workers, churches, ymca, it is all of us. it takes the whole community to clean up the community. wouldn't you agree with me? that is what we come to do today. i am proud to tell mr. smith on september 21st right here in san francisco you can come out and help us cleanup the city. (applause). you should be happy about that. i want to say that our lovely
mayor. we really appreciate you. (laughter). you are our friend and oakland is our friend. we love you also much. what we are going to do. once we win, we are going to come back over to oakland and help you all. we will help you out. we might go with you to all get together and cleanup. am i right? this is our city, this is our california. let's do it, san francisco and oakland, lets do it. i have a new thing to look at. i wish i had music. we pick it up and bag it up. you have to get rhythm.
anybody have rhythm. here we go. pick it up, bag it up. pick it up, bag it up. ♪ pick it up, bag it up let's go san francisco! that is catchy. ♪ bag it up, pick it up >> let's hear it for the communities in san francisco and oakland everybody. this is fun. in conclusion before the photos, give a big thanks to our community sponsors, ricology. they are bringing out hundreds of volunteers to serve lunch. thank you. a round of applause. waste management of alameda county and the solid waste service providers, give them a
big hand. argent materials hosting the cleanup. alaska airlines for the round trip tickets. there will be four lucky winners, two on each side of the bay. go to the battle for the bay 2019.org. sign up. we are still signing up for september 21st. we want to thank andy's construction in oakland. a round of applause as well. [applause.] >> clear channel, emerald fund, warriors and black and veatch and for hosting us here today. treasure island development authority. yes, thank you so much. what a beautiful sight to see the bridge, the bay, both mayors
[♪] ♪ homelessness in san francisco is considered the number 1 issue by most people who live here, and it doesn't just affect neighbors without a home, it affects all of us. is real way to combat that is to work together. it will take city departments and nonprofit providers and volunteers and companies and community members all coming together. [♪] >> the product homeless connect community day of service began about 15 years ago, and we have had 73 of them. what we do is we host and expo-style event, and we were the very force organization to do this but it worked so well that 250 other cities across the globe host their own. there's over 120 service providers at the event today, and they range anywhere from hygiene kits provided by the
basics, 5% -- to prescription glasses and reading glasses, hearing tests, pet sitting, showers, medical services, flu shots, dental care, groceries, so many phenomenal service providers, and what makes it so unique is we ask that they provide that service today here it is an actual, tangible service people can leave with it. >> i am with the hearing and speech center of northern california, and we provide a variety of services including audiology, counselling, outreach, education, today we actually just do screening to see if someone has hearing loss. to follow updates when they come into the speech center and we do a full diagnostic hearing test, and we start the process of taking an impression of their year, deciding on which hearing aid will work best for them. if they have a smart phone, we make sure we get a smart phone that can connect to it, so they can stream phone calls, or use it for any other services that they need. >> san francisco has phenomenal social services to support
people at risk of becoming homeless, are already experience and homelessness, but it is confusing, and there is a lot of waste. bringing everyone into the same space not only saves an average of 20 hours a week in navigating the system and waiting in line for different areas, it helps them talk, so if you need to sign up for medi-cal, what you need identification, you don't have to go to sacramento or wait in line at a d.m.v., you go across the hall to the d.m.v. to get your i.d. ♪ today we will probably see around 30 people, and averaging about 20 of this people coming to cs for follow-up service. >> for a participant to qualify for services, all they need to do is come to the event. we have a lot of people who are at risk of homelessness but not yet experiencing it, that today's event can ensure they stay house. many people coming to the event are here to receive one specific need such as signing up for medi-cal or learning about d.m.v. services, and then of course, most of the people who
are tender people experiencing homelessness today. >> i am the representative for the volunteer central. we are the group that checks and all the volunteers that comment participate each day. on a typical day of service, we have anywhere between 40500 volunteers that we, back in, they get t-shirts, nametags, maps, and all the information they need to have a successful event. our participant escorts are a core part of our group, and they are the ones who help participants flow from the different service areas and help them find the different services that they needs. >> one of the ways we work closely with the department of homelessness and supportive housing is by working with homeless outreach teams. they come here, and these are the people that help you get into navigation centers, help you get into short-term shelter, and talk about housing-1st policies. we also work very closely with the department of public health to provide a lot of our services. >> we have all types of things that volunteers deal do on a day of service. we have folks that help give out
lunches in the café, we have folks who help with the check in, getting people when they arrive, making sure that they find the services that they need to, we have folks who help in the check out process, to make sure they get their food bag, bag of groceries, together hygiene kit, and whatever they need to. volunteers, i think of them as the secret sauce that just makes the whole process works smoothly. >> participants are encouraged and welcomed to come with their pets. we do have a pet daycare, so if they want to have their pets stay in the daycare area while they navigate the event, they are welcome to do that, will we also understand some people are more comfortable having their pets with them. they can bring them into the event as well. we also typically offer veterinary services, and it can be a real detriment to coming into an event like this. we also have a bag check. you don't have to worry about your belongings getting lost, especially when that is all that
you have with you. >> we get connected with people who knew they had hearing loss, but they didn't know they could get services to help them with their hearing loss picks and we are getting connected with each other to make sure they are getting supported. >> our next event will be in march, we don't yet have a date set. we typically sap set it six weeks out. the way to volunteer is to follow our newsletter, follow us on social media, or just visit our website. we always announce it right away, and you can register very easily online. >> a lot of people see folks experience a homelessness in the city, and they don't know how they can help, and defence like this gives a whole bunch of people a lot of good opportunities to give back and be supported. [♪]
>> they are joining us today because we know this work is not easy. i'm joined here today by the director of mental health reform, grant colfax who is our director of the department of public health as well as yolanda who has been a client here for some time and she will be speaking to you later today. thank you for being here and all the folks who are doing the
hard work. we know that mental health -- there is a mental health crisis here in san francisco and i know that we often times hear that we're being thrown around loosely. but the fact is that as someone who grew up in san francisco and know that we have had challenges in this city, including issues around homelessness, what i see is something that i've never seen in my lifetime of growing up in the city and that is people who are in serious, serious crisis. serious need. and the fact is, in san francisco, the frustration is that we have a lot of resources. we have a lot
help people that we know are struggling. so we have people who have, as we unfortunately know, they're homeless. they have challenges with addiction. they have a number of other ailments, including mental illness, and unfortunately have nowhere to go but the streets. we need to make sure we're prepared to meet people where they are. we know that people are cycling in and out of our emergency rooms and only to be released, to be back right on the streets where they came from. our jails and they're having trouble staying stable in our shelter systems and trouble maintaining housing. when i was on the board of supervisors, i had a number of clients that i was specifically dedicated to, to have a better understanding of how the system was working and whether or not it could help to reach them and, sadly, those three clients who i'm still connected with, are still struggle on our streets. we have to end the cycle. we have to do more and we have to be prepared to make the hardest decisions that we've ever made before. residents like yolanda are amazing success stories and she has been a client here since 2009 and has really turned her life around and i'm really happy to have her here today. the good news is that, you know, when the city focuses and works together to address these issues, we can actually accomplish great things. back in march, i announced that we were hiring a director of mental health reform because that is exactly what we need to do with this system.
dr. anton will be speaking a little bit later about what he's been doing suns he has taken over this role back in march to get us on track. today, we are launching an initiative to help those who are the most in need. at those cross sections of homelessness, mental illness and substance use disorder. and our plan is to better coordinate the care. now i know you've all heard about the numbers. but the fact is the data with the numbers and the information wasn't necessarily clear. and that is a big part of what we want to talk about today. what is actually -- we see it. we know it is happening. we heard that there was data, but the fact is there wasn't really data in really clear, coordinated efforts. and so the ability to address
this issue comes with understanding what is going on with the people and that includes the data. and analyzing the folks who are in and out of our system, understanding if they were offered services or why they refused services and where they're located after their refused services. through this analysis done by the health department, through dr.s nagusaplan and the department of public health, we have been able to identify 4,000 people with the characteristics of the population who are really in need through these various diagnosis. and of the 4,000 individuals that we've identified who struggle with these particular challenges, 41% are in crisis, which is demonstrated by their high use of the emergency
psychiatric services and 95% suffer from alcohol use disorder and the sad reality is what we're seeing is there is a real issue of equity because 35% are african american, despite the fact that we have a population of not even 6% of african americans here in san francisco overall. this is just the beginning. the first step of this initiative that we are proposing today is understanding the data, analyzing the data, and also making direct impacts on the particular population and really digging deep into those particular issues with those particular individuals. and now as a result, what we plan to do about it, this is just the beginning of several initiatives that we planned to
announce to ream get deep into the weeds of addressing mental health in san francisco. i want to be clear. there is not one thing that we will be able to do to address this issue. there are a number of things that we will put forward over the coming weeks to help the public better understand the issue, to help the public better understand and appreciate the people who are working in this industry, the ones who are helping us deal with these issues every single day. to help people better understand that there are folks that we've been able to help and to support and that many of the programs that we have in place do work. but there is a need for reform. there is a need to increase capacity and to better examine, you know, new ways to address this issue. the first step in the initiative that we're proposing today is to expand individual care coordination for those we have identified. so of the 4,000 -- and doctor
bland will go into a little bit more detail, but to just really center in on those who are most in need and that population and to really target them with individualized coordination. we also will definitely need to get them stabilize and stream the housing and health care process. because we have to have a safe place for them to be, to recover, to go through whatever process they need to go through to get back on their feet. and we also need to understand that this challenge is not a 9:00 to 5:00 issue. we're going to expand the hours of our behavioral health access center so people can access these services on nights and weekends. let me be clear that the three elements of the initiative are just the beginning. and so we know we have more work to do to improve
transparency and the efficiency of our system and to enhance our services and improve what we need to do for the most vulnerable of our city. we are committed and we are ready to roll up our sleeves and to do the work. because this is not a political issue. this is about people's lives. and this is about understanding this population so we can get to the root causes and to help people. it comes with a number of various layers of things that we have to do. and i know some of you are familiar with what's happening with our conservatorship legislation and how it's gone through the board and how that is going to hopefully help individuals who are refusing treatment, but in desperate need of services. that is one approach. this is another approach. we've already opened a new -- 100 mental health stabilization beds and our goal is to open 100 more by the end of this
year and focusing on specific things to target this population in a way that's going going to help turn around what we know we see on our streets every day is something that is so important. i'm sure you have this same example. you may see this same person on the corner every day, screaming and yelling. and i have a particular individual who removes his clothing and when i see him, i can't help but think this could be my father. this could be my grandfather. this could be my uncle. this could be my family member. and i want to help him. i want to make sure he gets the support he needs. it is not humane to continue to
allow this to occur on our streets and that is why we have to move forward with a number of initiatives to help address this. now what we're proposing will not n many ways, be able to solve the issues that we know everyone is facing. we're not going to be able to force everyone into treatment. we know that locally the laws make it difficult to do something of that nature. but we do need to try. we do need to kaord nate our services and we do need to make sure that we are better prepared to meet people where they are. we can't assume that when they walk into the doors of a place like this that they know what to do. we need people who are going to be able to help them understand -- people who are going to understand what the challenge is and be able to address the challenge and that doesn't include, here, fill out this paperwork and take care of this and bring your i.d.. that is not the way we are approaching this particular issue. it's about getting the kind of
results where you can see and feel a difference on our streets every single day. so we have work to do in here to talk a little bit more about what we're proposing and what he's discovered since he's taken on this role as of march of this year is dr. nagusa-bland. [applause] >> thank you, mayor breed, for your support as we embark on this multiyear effort to transform mental health and substance use care for people experiencing homelessness in san francisco. thank you, dr. colfax, for embracing the scale of the change we need in order to make a difference for this population and for the entire city. thank you also jessica for your partnership in this important work as we endeavor to trace safety and civility for our neighbors.
i also want to acknowledge the community-based providers and philanthropists, clinicians and researchers, advocates and clients who dead indicate themselves to improving and saving lives in san francisco. we will need everyone working together if we're going to make the kind of impact that this population in san francisco needs. here's what we found out about our population. we looked very closely at who used san francisco's health care and social services in the most recent fiscal year. and as the mayor pointed out, out of nearly 18,000 people experiencing homelessness, we found that close to 4,000 of them also have both a history of serious mental illness and of substance abuse disorder. we found racial inequity in the population. 35% are black or african american. when just 5% of san francisco's population is. 41% of these individuals are high users of urgent and
emergent psychiatric services and 95% suffer with an alcohol use problem. now we have seen other large cities analyzed our high use of emergency services usually from a cost perspective. but as far as we know, san francisco is the first to [inaudible] health diagnoses of people experiencing homelessness to identifying a population and tailing solutions to that population's needs. this is how we solve problems in medicine. when a patient comes to us with a complex set of issues, we are not haphazard in our approach. we test. we collect information from collateral sources. we diagnose and we treat. we use data to precisely target our problems. we inknow vaitz and, most important of all, we persist. we are here to solve problems for the entire population and confront a crisis for our city.
these are the people who need help the most. helping them will make the biggest difference for them, for our health system, and for the entire community. when we talk about behavioral health, we mean mental health and substance use. we know that when someone is suffering from a mental illness or addiction, it is a lot like a chronic health condition such as diabetes or even hypertension. when people are in treatment, they do better. when they have a setback, we don't give up. and when 4,000 san franciscans find themselves in the intersection of mental illness and substance use disorder, business as usual does not work for them. we have to find ways to use the system to bend in their direction. i'm happy to say that this work has begun. as we rolled out the first in what will be a series of recommendations we can say we are entering a new era of
collaboration with the department of homelessness and supportive housing. jointly identifying the people in greatest need and relentless about getting them on a path to civility and wellness. with other city partners, we will be able to keep track of these individuals and wherever they touch our system a care coordinator will respond. when we say we're increasing access to behavioral health care and we can promise, we promise that we're going to focus on these 200 most vulnerable people in this group right now. and work together to get them connected to housing, treatment and care. we will be meeting weekly to discuss each of these individuals and tracking their progress. we will outreach to them wherever they are. we will problem solve and remove barriers to accessing care and the lessons that we learn will ultimately help us improve the system of care for more people.
going forward, the recommendations i will continue to deliver to mayor breed will be driven by clinical expertise, by data, by evidence and by the most innovative and best practices we can find or imagine. they will promote equity and transparency in our system of care, that -- they will advance harm reduction and lower barriers. they will build on the legacy of addressing problems that might seem intractable and of making stability, wellness and recovery possible. the clients and staff here at the south of the health clinic show us that perseverance every day. with that, i'd like to introduce yolanda morris et. [applause] >> about 15 years ago, i came to san francisco because i was being abused and i fled that
relationship. i didn't know anyone in san francisco, i left my clothes and i didn't look back. i was also an au addict and i was an alcoholic and i was homeless. i came here and slept in the alley. i've been every street out here that you can name and through the years i did want to get help. i didn't know how. and so after more abusive relationships, i finally got a good guy and it was his choice for us to get clean. he said we gotta get clean in order to make it here in san francisco. i'm going to stop doing what i can do so that you can get your act together. and so i decided -- because i've been in all the shelters out here. i know how the shelters work. i decided to stay next door. i stayed there for a year. and i behaved. from there, i went into an s.r.o. they placed me in a single-room
occupancy is what it is called. a room with a bathroom and i stayed there for five years and prior to me -- when i first moved into the s.r.o., my mother was dying of cancer and she didn't tell me because she knew it would take me out. i had a year of clean on me and i didn't look back and thought that's not what my mother would want. i'm going to stay clean and i'm going to fight. soy went out and found everything that i could find. this is one of first places that i came to because i had a lot of stuff going on mentally and physically. they were able to help me get on medication. they were able to help me get therapy, to get to the root of the problem, what was going on because i had a lot of stuff going on and after doing that, i had a lot of anger issues, depression, suicidal thoughts. i had to do anger management here twice and i finally got it right and i started doing other programs. glide was out there.
sage was out there. it is not out there anymore. i went to the women's re-entry center. i didn't feel comfortable at first because they walk you over there. i've also been incars rated out here in san francisco for drug possession and other things of that nature due to my drug use. and so i just slowly said i'm going to build myself up and started doing things for women against rape and violence. i got an award from the d.a. i like the write. i started writing here. i found out that i'm a pretty good poet and i do -- i do poems here every year for the black history month. they embrace me here. i've been coming here since 2012 getting support and getting help. and i graduated from a lot of programs out there and i started doing peer mentorship through san francisco state. i've graduated from ram, i've graduated from nami. i expunged my record. i got my driver's license back.
five years into my s.r.o. there was a program called brilliant corners. they came and gave out vouchers to people who are willing and ready to move out of the tenderloin and i had two weeks left and i fought hard and found me a one-bedroom and i got out of the tenderloin. but i still come to the tenderloin because this is an ish yaoufm i know a lot of people here. i always want to do anything that i can to disclose support and help the people in the community. so i continued. i'm still with my guy. we're getting married this year. and -- [applause] thank you. and also i want to say that i was able to get a really good job through help rights 360th called maps and it's mentor and peer support. they give you a job and they give you schooling for that. so i was able to do that. and now i teach groups in jail.
i teach groups to the men in san bruno on domestic violence. i teach groups to the deputies about crisis intervention training. i go out and volunteer. i do anything and everything that i can to support anyone. we work in all the collaborative court. now i was an addict nine years ago and this is what i'm doing now. through all the help that started here at south end market. you know? they really helped me out an awful lot. they were very patient. i went through several therapists and psychologists. but finally got it right and i'll be flying away and graduating from here soon because i am moving on to other things. i have a nice full-time job now. so, yeah. that's about it. [laughter] [applause]
>> well, thank you, yolanda, for sharing your story. it's amazing. it is an inspiration to us all. and we wish you the very best as you get your certification in drug and alcohol counseling. amazing work. also, by the way, we're hiring. [laughter] just putting that out there. we're looking for right people. i'm the director of health for the city and county of san francisco. i would like to thank the mayor and thank you, dr. bland, and thank you to our host today, natalie henry berry and the hard-working staff here. this is one of the places in the city's system of care where people can get their medical care, dental and behavioral health care needs met under one roof. i've seen what the staff here, with persistent compassion have
been able to do by partnering with their clients on journey to stability and wellness. they are psychiatrists, pharmacists, behavioral health clinicians, nurses and support workers who go out into the community and meet people where they are. many clients are experiencing homelessness when they enroll in services here and most are diagnosed with both mental illness and substance abuse disorders. but the work makes a difference. and on my last visit here, i went out with the team. and this is a client, who's now housed, but was ton street for many years. wheelchair-bound, had chronic controlism, refused treatment for many years. but the team continued to engage him, continued to bailed relationship. helped him when he was ready to get healthy. helped him when he was ready to
get treatment for his alcoholism. and this client, living in the tenderloin, is a valuable member of the community. is actually continuing to move that forward just like yolanda. he's now volunteering at the san francisco aids clinic providing harm reduction materials for people who need them. he is moving the work forward and this is the kind of model of peers helping peers in a system that meets people where they are and does whatever it takes to help get them off the street w. this new data and focus on the 200, we can make a difference. i think when people are ready for treatment and volunteer for treatment, that is key. i also think we need to recognize that one of our challenges on the streets that some people will refuse treatment. some people in the most dire needs of treatment will refuse treatment. so we need to be there when people are ready to go into the services and meet them.
when they're ready. but we also need laws like the conservatorship law to provide people with the support for short-time conservatorship to help them save their lives. these are life-saving interventions. and that persistent compassion is what we have seen here and what we've come to expect from our director of mental health reform in. a few short months, he's transformed the way many of us think about caring for people experiencing the intersection of homelessness, serious mental illness and substance abuse disorders. this is a population, as you've heard of 4,000 people who require specialized solutions. kit take a while. it can take time for them to achieve their goals. but we know that wellness and recovery is possible, as you've heard today. and with our partners at the department of homeless systems and supportive housing, thank you, jeff, for being here today and the human services agency. we have agreed for the first tomb on ways to identify, treat
and house the most vulnerable population in our city. and mayor london breed to spark the champion of harm reduction, someone who understands the inequities that lead to core health outcomes and that we must continually push harder to overcome. under her leadership, san francisco continues to invest in health care and housing that our city needs. thank you, mayor breed. and thank you all for being here today. thank you to the team and let's move forward together. [applause] >> thank you. again, thank you so much, yolanda, for sharing your story. and stories like yolanda's is why we do the work. it is what we care about the most because the fact is, you know, people go through challenges. people go through struggles. and nine years being clean and sober takes a lot of work. it takes a lot of courage and
to get up here and tell your story will have such a tremendous impact on so many other people's lives and hopefully encourage them to get the help and the support that they need. and i think that is important to remember in having the conversation about the struggles and the success stories. because we are not going to give up. and i know that people in san francisco are frustrated by what they see on our streets. i'm frustrated. but i'm not going to give up. i think it is important that we have ways to help people. that with our additional $53 million in investment and behavioral health program that our additional $100 million in investment, the homeless supportive services indicates that we're willing to make investments. now it is time to put those investments to good use. and to understand that every dollar we spend on this issue is a dollar that can change someone's life.
and so we have to be deliberate in our approach to really focus on this and make sure it is not a political issue. this is a long-term plan of action that will deliver the kind of results that will help people, like yolanda, get really a second chance at living a healthy, productive and thriving life. so thank you for all of you for being here today. and again, i want to express my appreciation to the team and the folks who are working with so many of the clients that i know things can be challenging, but the fact that you're here, i know that you've not given up. this work is rewarding, especially when you're able to get the kinds of results that show that supporting people like yolanda do yield and so it really means a lot to have so
many incredible, dedicated people doing this work every single day because it is not easy. and i'll tell you that, you know, because you all know that i spend a lot of time walking the streets and having the conversations and going out there with some of our teams and having the conversation. within two hours of walking just four blocks, i was mentally exhausted with the conversations that i had and also trying to get people the help and the support that they needed and just work that -- the energy and the emotion that goes into trying to help people every single day is something that's admirable and i want us to really appreciate the folks who are part of, you know, our mental teams and our nonprofit organizations and our homeless out reach workers and even law enforcement and the work that we're out there doing to help change and save people's lives. this is the first of many steps that we plan to take and,
again, this is, i know, a very complex issue. it's not wraped in the usual political package that the press, i know, wants to see it wrapped in. but this is actually what we need to do. get into the nuts and bolts, make the right decisions and get out there and make the changes that will help impact the people that we are here to serve. so thank you all so much for being here today. and dr. colfax and dr.s blanlz -- dr. bland will be here to answer any further questions that you might have. thank you. [applause].
>> good aften and lcome to the mayor's disability counsel. this is friday, july 19, 2019. in room 400 of san francisco city hall. city hall is accessible to persons using wheelchairs, and other assistive mobility devices. assisted listening devices are available and our meeting is open captioned and sign language interpreted. our agendas are also available in large print. please ask, mod staff or any additional assistance. to prevent electronic interference, with this room's sound system and to respect everyone's ability to focus