By Sara Marsh, LCSW, Ed.D, and Hope Solutions Director of Programs
On July 18th over 100 citizens gathered at Contra Costa College (CCC) for an afternoon of discussion about how Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) monies should be spent. These funds are generated by a tax on Californians who have over a million dollars in income each year. The legislation requires that the funds be used to help individuals with serious mental health challenges, and the forum was focused on types of support services attached to housing. Hope Solutions (Hope Solutions) partnered with the CCC MHSA staff to sponsor this forum, and a resident who lives in permanent supportive housing spoke to the gathering about his experience and how the housing and service he has received have helped him to turn his life around. Barbara Henley and Sara Marsh, Hope Solutions staff members, also spoke about the many types of services provided to residents in Hope Solutions housing.
Many people at the forum spoke about how housing alone, without supportive services, is not enough to provide stability for this population. Family members, consumers and providers all gave their ideas for what types of services would be useful. The next three-year plan for MHSA funding will start on July 2020, so MHSA staff encourage community input to inform the planning process. For more information about how you can give your input please go to the Contra Costa Health website (cchealth.org).
View video from the forum: