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San Francisco Weighing Plans for Forced Treatment of Mentally Ill Addicts

San Francisco Weighing Plans for Forced Treatment of Mentally Ill Addicts

To battle the California homeless crisis, San Diego is constructing tent facilities and Sacramento may force community colleges to shelter homeless students.

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently said (with a straight face) that “California was still the envy of the world” in response to the numerous California critics who brought up the homeless problem, feces and syringes in the streets, and rodents infecting people in city halls.

While Newsom drags his feet, some cities have chosen to tackle those problems, mainly helping the homeless.

Earlier this year, I noted that San Francisco officials determined that the city has more drug addicts than it has students enrolled in its public high schools.

The addiction crisis is a contributing factor to the overwhelming level of homelessness in the city, as is mental illness. San Francisco supervisors are supporting measures that could force drug addicts with serious mental illnesses into treatment.

Officials in San Francisco decided Tuesday to back a plan allowing the city to force some people with serious mental illness and drug addiction issues into treatment — but the program is coming under intense criticism in uber-liberal California for what some say is a deprivation of individual civil liberties.

The city’s Board of Supervisors voted 10-1 on the proposal for a pilot program after months of debate, which initially would apply to a handful of people, pending legislation at the state level, and then could expand.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed and other supporters of the plan — which is known as conservatorship — say it is necessary to help people who are often homeless, addicted to drugs or mentally ill and either have no means or no desire to get off the streets, which the plan’s proponents say makes them a danger to themselves and others..

The proposal permits a court to appoint a public conservator for someone who has been involuntarily detained for psychiatric hospitalization at least eight times in a year under section 5150 of California’s welfare and institutions code. The treatment for the individual could last for as long as a year.

“Anyone who’s been to San Francisco recently, either in our downtown or in the neighborhoods I represent, has seen an alarming number of people who seem to be mentally ill, or in some kind of psychosis, and they seem to be not getting the care that they need,” said Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, a cosponsor of the measure whose district includes the Castro.

State Sen. Scott Wiener, a San Francisco Democrat, coauthored the state legislation allowing the five-year pilot programs for forced treatment in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego counties.

Farther south, San Diego officials are planning the construction of massive taxpayer-funded tents, trailers and other facilities to house those otherwise living on the streets and in their cars.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, a Republican, signed off last week on a City Council-approved $11 million contract to fund through June 2020 three such “bridge shelters” for the homeless and a facility for people to store their belongings. The contract also laid the groundwork for the construction of a fourth bridge shelter.

“We’re taking dramatic action to move homeless people off the streets and get them help,” Faulconer told Fox News. “Our strategy is to connect, support and shelter them.”

The plan includes safe parking zones for people living in their cars or RVs.

Finally, Assembly Bill 302 is making its way through Sacramento. The measure would force community colleges to allow homeless students to sleep on campus.

Specifically, the campus would have to:

offer emergency grants for students securing housing or facing the risk of losing housing;
dispense hotel vouchers through a public or community agency;
and provide homeless students with rapid re-housing referral services.

…Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Palo Alto, proposed the bill after hearing from college students who lacked stable housing.

“The harsh reality is that students are already sleeping in their vehicles. When we do not provide a safe place for students to sleep, we force them into the shadows where they are most vulnerable. The long term approach is to build more housing, but while we work to make that a reality, AB 302 is a step that we can take now to ensure that homeless students have a safe place to sleep at night.”

The best part? It is opposed by the typically progressive institutions, due to sanitation and security concerns.

The Community College League of California said in a statement that, “While we agree with the author that, like many Californians, homelessness is affecting many of our students, we are concerned that this well-meaning approach masks the deeper issue of lack of resources, such as financial aid for California’s community college students, and instead potentially subjects students to sanitation and safety issues.”

I am sure all of this activity has made you non-Californians envious!


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Gavin Newsom recently said (with a straight face) that “California was still the envy of the world” ….
– crap in the streets [they’ve got a crap app for that]
– 3rd-world invaders speaking Spanish everywhere
– uni-party legislature
– traffic jams ad infinitum
– extremely high taxes

You couldn’t pay me to live in the Golden Shower State.

    healthguyfsu in reply to walls. | July 1, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    Saying that just plays into the delusions of the people therein. They are as bad as New Yorkers with their inflated opinions of the habitat.

    healthguyfsu in reply to walls. | July 1, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    Also, the only thing enviable in the state of California is its natural resources. They are perhaps the richest in the entire country. That the state has been mismanaged so poorly with such a plethora of inherent riches is testament to the abject failures of its political leads.

    They can keep the rest. Tech can be moved. Georgia and others are becoming nice hot spots for entertainment industries. Nothing worth batting an eye over.

    MAJack in reply to walls. | July 1, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    Liberalism killed the golden goose (state).

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to walls. | July 1, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    The CA CA state should be forced to try that on all the politicians first.

    Paging Crazy Nancy! Paging Crazy Nancy!

    JusticeDelivered in reply to walls. | July 1, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    I had many offers during my career from companies in California, I turned they all down, mostly because of the sky high cost of living.

    PODKen in reply to walls. | July 1, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    I’ve lived in the Bay Area for 50+ years … I don’t see one damn thing enviable about this place … never have.

the other rob | July 1, 2019 at 9:16 am

Now it all makes sense.

1. You swamp a city with mentally ill, homeless, drug addicts.

2. The situation gets so bad that the populace takes its eye off the ball and permits you to arrogate to yourself draconian powers.

3. Which you then proceed to use against your political opponents, targets of opportunity and the random guy who pissed you off this morning.

    Tom Servo in reply to the other rob. | July 1, 2019 at 10:12 am

    and the final step is simple – find a couple compliant government psychiatrists who are willing to certify that Since the Government is working for Everyone’s Good, then Anyone who Opposes the Government must be Dangerous and Mentally Ill, and thus they can be locked up.

    that’s how the USSR did it.

Dr. Lonny Shavelson found that 70% of female heroin addicts were sexually abused in childhood.

Post USA Civil War alcoholism was called “the soldiers disease”

Addiction is a symptom of PTSD. Look it up.

    healthguyfsu in reply to MSimon. | July 1, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    Is there a point tangential to the article here?

    Close The Fed in reply to MSimon. | July 1, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    That is my experience with transsexuals – – that they were usually grossly sexually abused as kids. When they have mpd or did (multiple personalities or dissociative identity disorder (same thing)), it’s really frustrating to deal with them, even if you know how.

    Also very common with homosexuals… usually abused as kids, just not as bad as the transsexuals….

Community Colleges? If they want to see profound change, house the homeless at Berkeley, UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara or US Santa Cruz. They’d be enforcing laws before the ink dried.

So . . . they’ll subsidize homelessness, while pretending that it’s just a stopgap measure which will result in a solution . . . or something . . . someday. Uh-huh. Usually when you subsidize something, or make it more attractive, you can expect to get more of it.

Meanwhile, whatever shelter & facilities they provide will fill up immediately, and the numbers of homeless wandering around the streets won’t be obviously diminished in the slightest.

But my favorite has to be the old “and they seem to be not getting the care that they need”. What specific “care” do they think will solve their problems? Too many people just toss off a glib “oh that person needs help,” as if there’s some sort of “help in a bottle” which can wipe everything away. The development of modern antipsychotic drugs did indeed make it possible to help or even eliminate some previously impossible cases, but there are practical and legal impediments to such treatments—mainly that it’s generally impossible to force patients to take them. So even the cases which would benefit from such drugs usually, in the real world, don’t.

    Close The Fed in reply to tom_swift. | July 1, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    Well, you’re right, they have to be willing or interested. But therapy can help those with m.p.d. and d.i.d. I know those it has helped a good bit.

      daniel_ream in reply to Close The Fed. | July 1, 2019 at 1:23 pm

      Complex PTSD is something I know a fair bit about, although I am not a certified or licensed anything.

      If the current theories about the etiology of Complex PTSD are correct – and the more they pursue them the more they seem to be – then Complex PTSD cannot be treated or cured in any meaningful way; at best the patients can be taught how to minimize the impact their behaviours have on those around them.

Stop taking care of them, stop the money, stop the panhandling and they will leave
Maybe they end up someone else’s problem but they won’t stay in a place that doesn’t hand out money and other free stuff

It’s just going to get worse the more money you throw at them. It’s a drug problem for most of them, the mental illness probably followed the street living, maybe primary with a small percentage but I believe the drugs came first, but they are not going to take psychotropic meds willingly, can’t get “high”., at least not the high they want.

    Close The Fed in reply to gonzotx. | July 1, 2019 at 12:45 pm

    A lot of this, some trauma preceded it…. Not all, but a good bit.

    I do think if they really applied themselves to the problem, they could over time, identify the mentally troubled from the merely indolent. . . .

    The mentally troubled definitely deserve help.

amatuerwrangler | July 1, 2019 at 11:03 am

Alcohol and drugs can quickly make a person unemployable and without an income a permanent home is unattainable. Eventually the drugs and booze do permanent brain-cell damage, as well as other organs, and the slide down that slope picks up speed.

I am still waiting for the media to find us a verified homeless person who, months ago was employed and had a real home, but Trump’s economy* killed the job and now they are in an REI tent on the street. That is the unicorn of the homeless advocate.

You don’t get rid of stray cats by putting out saucers of milk.

* 5 years ago it was Bush’s economy

    JusticeDelivered in reply to amatuerwrangler. | July 1, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    Some people are self destructive and there is nothing we can do to fix them.

    The best solution to this problem, one which will greatly lower crime, is to place these people in a controlled environment and allow them to consume any and all drugs to their heart’s content.

    All these people are going to kill themselves, the only question is how long and how much collateral damage there will be. We should be lowering such damage, while allowing them to attain their end goal.

Wait until the city decides that owning a gun is a sign of dangerous mental illness. Or a city-employed psychiatrist declaring that someone being a “racist” or “homophobe” or “Islamophobe” makes them a menace to society and must be treated in a hospital against their will.

All of these things and more have been openly talked about by politically-minded psychiatrists. The Soviet Union is undergoing a rebirth in the United States.

healthguyfsu | July 1, 2019 at 12:05 pm

The community college plan is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to healthguyfsu. | July 1, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    The community college plan is destroying those striving for a decent future, to coddle those who have no future. It is insane.

If implemented, it might be interesting. SF has more than its share of crazies that are considered normal, as anyone who has seen pictures of a LBGT parade knows. Most of those people would also benefit from treatment. When they realize they might be considered mentally ill, instead they will claim the addled homeless are also normal.

Today the drug addicts
Tomorrow the gender dysphoric

I know, this may be viewed as…harsh. Why not just feed the homeless to the hungry? 2 problems solved!

Soylent Green is people afterall.

I am somewhat to the right of Attila the Hun on many issues, but I have not lost my sense of compassion. I have dealt with people with addiction and mental illness and I can affirm that it is hard. We cannot simply assume that these people can be tossed into the garbage heap of humanity and that will solve the problem and make the streets clean and safe. I don’t know what the solution is, but I know what is not.

    tom_swift in reply to Obie1. | July 2, 2019 at 8:23 am

    but I have not lost my sense of compassion.

    Not really relevant. Compassion is what you want to do about a problem. The issue here is what is possible to do about it.

    If we postulate that, as a practical matter, homelessness can’t be “cured,” then maybe at least the incurable homeless can be prevented from turning the entire city into a ruined cesspool.

Long term involuntary commitment is one of the things that cause the indigent to move somewhere that doesn’t have it. It will do two things. Lock up the worst psychotics and cause others to move away before it happens to them.

Upon release, many will also leave the area so as not to risk another long term commitment. Some might actually dry out and stabilize.

It won’t solve the problem but over time the numbers in the targeted areas will lessen.

The problem with homelessness is that the homeless, by definition, are mentally ill. That’s right, people living on the street, not employed, using recreational chemicals to excess on a regular basis, dumpster diving, stealing, etc, are not sane individuals. This is all destructive behavior which will lead to death. If a society allows people to behave this way, it is also mentally ill. The problem is that mental illness is pervasive in urban California. Now, even the insane, but employed, members of California society have come to realize that a society exists to impose guiding regulation on human behavior for the betterment of all members of the society. When these regulations are not enforced, urban California is what you end up with.

Now, setting up camps and living areas for the homeless will simply concentrate the existing conditions in a small area, which is government controlled. To ensure that public health regulations and drug laws are enforced, it will be necessary to evict inhabitants of these camps. Guess where they will end up. This does not even consider the fact that the cost for maintaining these camps will be huge and the government will assume responsibility for everything which happens inside the camps. So, the camps will be a hugely expensive disaster.

Now, incarceration for treatment. Good luck with that. The mentally ill members of the homeless community are hardcore, incurable cases. As soon as they are released from incarceration, they will go off their prescribed meds and back on illicit drugs. Their conditions will reappear as bad or worse than before. The simply illicit drug users will have similar problems. They will return with the same problems they had before and will have limited employment opportunities because of their previous activities.

There is no simple, easy solution for this problem. It is like gangrene. If an infection is treated early, it does not get to the point where living flesh has to be excised along with the dead flesh surrounding it. California authorities waited too long and now it is going to be a very painful recovery period.

I dunno if this SF idea will help or not … but I do think all you people with a bright idea of how to fix the problem should go to SF and plead your case … otherwise I think all you have to offer is hearsay and innuendo.

How do we treat failure in our society?

What do we expect for boundary’s in society?
I expect that if I don’t want to talk or interact with you you will leave me alone. If I choose to give to charity or give directly I will. But don’t get in my face.

What do we expect in society for common space?
don’t take it for your one use beyond a reasonable time frame. The public park is for general use then no homesteading/camping.

What do we expect of behavior of people around us?
I guess I expect general sanity. You attack me or my family …

What do I expect regarding public health behavior?
Oh wow,I just talked myself into it interesting topic of California inconsistency. So California as a government pressures/forces people to receive vaccines. But has no effective plan for those who defecate on the sidewalk? ( for the record I’m for the former, against the latter. )

If they forced all the mentally ill people to be treated, the democrat party hq would be deserted.

40 years ago it was the worst sin in the world to forcibly institutionalize people; it was a severe violation of their civil liberties, said all the lawsuits that forced the closure of those hospitals and asylums.

Maybe they hadn’t thought it all the way through: that perhaps one-size-fits-all is not a viable social remedy.