County to Intervene to Prevent Board and Care Closures

County to Intervene to Prevent Board and Care Closures

Los Angeles, CA — Today, the Board of Supervisors passed a motion authored by Supervisor Janice Hahn and co-authored by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl to address the Board and Care crisis throughout LA County.  Adult Residential Facilities and Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly, commonly referred to as “Board and Cares” are vital housing resources for many LA County residents with mental illnesses and other health needs. Board and Cares provide these individuals with a stable home, meals, and various other supportive services.

These facilities have been closing at a rapid rate due to increasing costs and stagnant reimbursement rates from the State. Reimbursement rates are currently just $35 per day and are often not enough for operators to cover the actual costs of caring for residents. Since 2016, thirty-nine Board and Cares serving 949 individuals were forced to close their doors, leaving their vulnerable residents scrambling to avoid homelessness. Many more facilities are at risk of closing.

“These board and care facilities are often the only thing standing between their residents and homelessness,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “The state needs to start reimbursing these facilities for the actual cost of the care they provide. But until that happens, the county is going to step up and give these facilities the support they need to keep their doors open so they can continue to be homes for our most vulnerable residents.”

“Given the roaring real estate market and low reimbursement rates, LA County board and care facilities have been closing at an alarming rate,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who co-authored the motion. “These businesses provide a vital service providing some of our most fragile residents with the care they need and a roof over their heads. Without board and care beds, many of these men and women could face incarceration, institutionalization or homelessness. Today’s motion lays out first steps for reversing this trend and ensuring that we have an adequate supply of beds for those who need them.”

The motion is the culmination of a two-year long stakeholder engagement process that brought together Board and Care owners and clients to discuss their needs. It directs the Department of Mental Health, Department of Health Services, and the Chief Executive Office to identify funding for both operations and capital improvements to preserve and expand existing Board and Care facilities. This will also include developing a strategy to expand the number of people benefitting from the County’s Housing for Health and Department of Mental Health enhanced rate programs. Additionally, the County will seek opportunities to advocate at the state level for improved Board and Care funding that will allow these facilities to continue operating under rising costs as well as engaging philanthropy to increase financial support of these facilities serving low-income individuals.

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  • Jacquelyn Watkins
    commented 2019-11-17 03:07:09 -0800
    Board and cares is a small part of the reason many mentally ill people are homeless. 90% of their check goes to the facility and they have no money left for personal care, or recreation. Try living on $130.00 per month. They have to share a room and they cannot have pets. We all agree pets are an essential part of healing. All of the above lead to depression which causes drug and alcohol use, which leads to recidivism, re-hospitalization and back to the streets out of desperation. A vicious cycle, while if we remove the barriers, and the depressing factors , many of these people could become functional parts of society with supportive housing; and save the government millions of dollars in hospitalization. # supported housing, NOT BOARD AND CARE ! Even bridge housing has privacy and shelters have pets. The mentally I’ll want to be treated as human beings too. Maybe part of their problem is too many restrictions and not enough freedom. Try living under those conditions as an adult and then tell me board and care is the answer. No supportive housing with private rooms paying 30 % of their income with proper services on site and pet areas is a more humane approach to the problem, keeping in mind measure H was developed to eliminate homelessness and what percent of the homeless are mentally I’ll? Should not they be a service priority? Many of the single women with children are homeless because of poor money management and addictions. Many of the veterans are homeless while the VA has an enormous amount of vacant property. But many of the mentally Ill are homeless because of the poor conditions at board and care facilities and they are fed up and just cannot cope or cannot see a way to improve their lives.
  • Emily Lintner
    published this page in Press Releases 2019-11-13 10:36:46 -0800