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The Time to Fix our Mental Healthcare System is Now!

veterans, homelessness,

Join GLIDE in supporting Proposition 1

California stands at a pivotal moment in its history. Our homelessness crisis has reached unprecedented levels, with our state now home to 28% of the nation’s unhoused population despite comprising only 12% of the country’s residents.1

The numbers speak volumes, but behind each statistic lies a human story of struggle, trauma, and resilience. 

As the President and CEO of the GLIDE Foundation, a beacon of hope in San Francisco’s fight against poverty, the challenges faced by our most vulnerable communities are personal to me. 

Three decades ago, I was a young mother of three, navigating the hardships of poverty in Bayview Hunters Point. It was organizations like GLIDE that offered a vital support network, empowering me to break the cycle of poverty that holds people back from pursuing lives filled with dignity, purpose, and opportunity. 

But my journey is just one among many, and countless others, who continue to grapple with the harsh realities of homelessness and mental health challenges. Homelessness is the most  complex and pressing public policy challenge facing our
society.
2

A comprehensive study by UCSF on people experiencing homelessness found that two-thirds of participants had experienced multiple forms of trauma throughout their life, increasing their vulnerability to homelessness and contributing to their mental health and substance use challenges.

In March, California voters will have an important decision to make. Proposition 1, the Behavioral Health Services Program and Bond Measure, will expand mental health and addiction services for tens of thousands of Californians each year.

This bond measure will create housing for over 11,000 Californians with the most severe mental health needs to live, recover, stabilize and thrive, and provide $1 billion to ensure our veterans experiencing homelessness, mental health and substance use issues are given the care they deserve.

This proposition represents a lifeline for tens of thousands of individuals struggling with severe mental health and addiction issues. 

By expanding access to vital services and creating supportive housing environments, Proposition 1 offers a path toward stability and recovery for those in need. 

At GLIDE, we understand the transformative power of compassion and support. However, our efforts are hampered by a chronic lack of resources. Proposition 1 helps address this critical gap by providing the funding necessary to scale up our programs and reach those who need it most. 

In partnership with Code Tenderloin, Executive Director, Donna Hilliard supports Proposition 1. Ms. Hilliard said, “As a mother who has a son who struggles with mental health challenges, I understand the need for supportive housing. Many mothers lose sleep at night worried that their child may be taken to jail for an incident that happens because their child is struggling with mental health. Real-time help is needed. Treatment, not jail is the answer.”

GLIDE and Code Tenderloin are gateways out of poverty. Yet, the mental health struggles so many poor people face, and the dire shortage of services, is one of the biggest barriers to break cycles of poverty.

To fix this, we need the resources available through this bond measure, estimated to be between $2 billion and $3.5 billion annually.

I speak from personal experience when I say that poverty is not just about financial hardship; it is also about the emotional toll it takes on individuals and families.

Growing up, my own family could barely afford the essentials, let alone therapy or mental health services. Proposition 1 offers hope to those who, like me, have faced adversity and persevered to find a way out.

There is no easy solution to the homelessness crisis, but Proposition 1 represents a significant step in the right direction. As the President and CEO of the GLIDE Foundation, I urge you to join me in voting YES on Proposition 1.

Together, we can break the cycles of poverty and marginalization that are holding communities across California back.


gina, fromer

Dr. Gina Fromer 
President & CEO of the GLIDE Foundation 

 

 

 

1. Housing & Homelessness (n.d.) California State Auditor – Housing & Homelessness. Available at: https://www.auditor.ca.gov/issues/briefs/housing-and-homelessness (Accessed: 12 February 2024).

2. University of California San Francisco. (2023, June 20). California Statewide study investigates causes and impacts of homelessness | UC San Francisco. California Statewide Study Investigates Causes and Impacts of Homelessness | UC San Francisco. https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2023/06/425646/california-statewide-study-investigates-causes-and-impacts-homelessness

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