SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – Just over a week in office, San Francisco Mayor London Breed is already tackling her campaign promise and pledging more money to help the homeless and mental health crisis on city streets.
Mayor Breed made her first big announcement on homelessness Monday at the Victorian Manor, a residential care facility that helps patients struggling with dementia and mental health needs.
She pledged a one-time, $1 million boost for the city’s 37 remaining board and care homes.
“One of my top priorities is to not only address many of the challenges we face with so many people struggling with mental illness and homelessness, but more importantly address issues of homelessness,” said Breed.
“I think Mayor Breed has made it very clear in her campaign, she’s really going to focus a lot through her support for conservatorship legislation, [aimed at] the homeless folks who trouble people on the street — the people aren’t simply poor, but have very severe psychosis, often. I think she sees that segment of the homeless population as what the public is concerned about,” said Randy Shaw of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic.
Shaw has watched seven mayors take on homelessness while the annual budget for that fight has grown to nearly $280 million. He says Mpnday’s announcement isn’t so much about that additional one million dollars, it’s more about sending a message.
“The lesson from this last election and the preceding year is San Franciscans feel this thing is a bit out of control and she wants to show that she can deal with it and the city is on top of it,” said Shaw.
This was, after all, the promise of her campaign, visible progress in the city’s most visible struggle.
And she has just one year, three months, and twelve days until the next election.
“She’s doing the right thing and moving right now at the start, because if she didn’t, and a month went by and people perceive things as getting worse, people would be like ‘well, Mayor Breed is no different,'” said Shaw.
“We have to do everything we can to make sure they don’t end up on the streets,” said Breed. “This is what this is about, prevention,” said Breed.