July 11, 2023

$321 Million in State Funds Coming to Los Angeles County for Mental Health Housing

Los Angeles, CA – This morning, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion authored by Chair Janice Hahn and coauthored by Supervisor Kathryn Barger to accept $321,189,238 in state funds for the creation of housing beds for unhoused people experiencing serious mental health and/or substance abuse challenges. The funds come from the state’s Behavioral Health Bridge Housing (BHBH) Program, and will be prioritized for participants in the County’s Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Court program which will launch this December.
“We’re just six months from getting our mental health and substance abuse CARE Court up and running in Norwalk and having dedicated housing with treatment available for unhoused clients is going to be essential,” said Chair of the Board Janice Hahn. “CARE Court is a massive undertaking and I appreciate the State for coming through for us with this funding so that we can make sure we are prepared with the beds and treatment these clients will need on day one.”
The vote authorizes the County’s Department of Mental Health to accept $259,280,749 in funds, and the Department of Public Health to accept $61,908,489. Dr. Lisa Wong, Psy.D., Director of Mental Health, and Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health, answered questions from supervisors about potential uses for the funds. Dr. Wong emphasized that this funding would go to projects that can get up and running quickly. The Departments are now able to move forward quickly with releasing the solicitation, entering into contracts with providers, and begin hiring as needed.
“These funds will go a long way in helping our county get CARE Court ready,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “We will significantly expand the number of beds and housing subsidies that we can use to support and heal our homeless residents experiencing severe mental illness and addiction. This funding commitment from the state will help us make sure more beds are available to residents, countywide. We need to continue building up our infrastructure so we can provide equal access.”
Los Angeles County is among the first cohort of counties expected to implement its CARE Court program, with an opening date of December 1 of this year. CARE Court, which will operate out of the Los Angeles County Superior Courthouse in Norwalk, will serve people experiencing serious mental health disorders through court-ordered care that could include medications, wellness and recovery supports, and connection to social services and housing.

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