SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Mayor London N. Breed, the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH), and the San Francisco Adult Probation Department (SFAPD) announced an expansion in transitional housing and behavioral health care services for justice-involved adults who are experiencing homelessness. The 75-unit housing site at 509 Minna Street (the Minna Project) in the South of Market neighborhood is currently undergoing renovations for an anticipated opening in early May.
The Minna Project is a partnership between SFDPH and SFAPD and will open in collaboration with community partners, including Westside Community Services and Tenderloin Housing Clinic, who will oversee program and property management. Participants of the Minna Project will have access to onsite wraparound services, including outpatient mental health and substance use disorder treatment, case management, medication management, support groups, and recreational activities. The Minna Project will support participants in recovery through group therapy, peer support, and medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorders. Together, these services are designed to aid the transition to independent living after involvement with the justice system.
“We’re continuing to expand our treatment options for people facing issues relating to mental health and addiction so we can get individuals off the street and into the care and shelter they need,” said Mayor Breed. “With this project, we’re working to break the cycle of people with these challenges cycling from the justice system to the streets and back again, without receiving the type of care they need that could make a difference in their lives. With better coordination, more focused services, and housing options, we can hopefully improve this situation in San Francisco.”
Individuals with behavioral health needs are overrepresented in the justice system, with up to one-third of all jail inmates receiving behavioral healthcare. This population is also disproportionately affected by homelessness and the overdose epidemic. The Minna Project provides the City with an opportunity to provide housing, healthcare, and wraparound services to address this variety of related factors affecting individuals experiencing behavioral health issues.
“It is critical that we provide our behavioral health clients exiting the jail system with a seamless transition between care providers and a robust support system of case management, peer support, and wraparound social services,” said Deputy Director of Health, Dr. Naveena Bobba. “Our partnership with the Adult Probation Department on Minna Project means the rapid opening of 75-units for San Franciscans on their path to wellness and long-term stability.”
“We’re excited to partner with the San Francisco Department of Public Health on this innovative program to support the needs of justice-involved adults,” said Chief Probation Officer Cristel Tullock. “The launch of the Minna Project enhances our ability to safely reduce San Francisco’s jail population and provides critical recovery and mental health services which lead to independence and self-sufficiency.”
Minna Project participants will be welcomed from several referral sources, including justice system partners, the Superior Court, Jail Health Services, and an array of treatment and community partners. Program participants are anticipated to reside onsite for 1-2 years before transitioning to more permanent housing.
The new facility at 509 Minna adds 75 beds to SFDPH’s residential care and treatment programs and is part of a 400-bed expansion over the coming years to provide more spaces and overnight options. After 509 Minna opens, SFDPH will have opened 40 percent, or 164, of the planned 400 new beds. The facility will soft launch in early May, with initial guests coming in already connected to services until the program ramps up for onsite wraparound services by Fall.
The Reentry Division of SFAPD will coordinate the delivery of onsite services through community partners. This team, led by formerly incarcerated people, has developed a portfolio of reentry and rehabilitative programs for justice-involved adults that promote recovery and independence. SFDPH will fund the transitional housing program and develop the clinical behavioral healthcare services available for Minna Project participants. The building at 509 Minna Street will be master-leased by Tenderloin Housing Clinic.
“To successfully divert people from the justice system, and to end the cycle of recidivism, San Francisco must have housing options with appropriate wraparound services,” said Supervisor Hillary Ronen. “Opening 75-units at the Minna Project is a big step in expanding residential treatment and realizing the vision of Mental Health SF. San Francisco is home to an innovative court system that works to provide healthcare and treatment for justice involved residents. We need places like the Minna Project to get more people on the path to wellness and stability.”
“I’ve worked closely with both DPH and SFAPD over the years and I’m excited that these city departments are coming together to provide meaningful services for those in the justice system struggling with addiction and mental health challenges,” said Supervisor Matt Haney.
“Building off the success of our Therapeutic Recovery Community, abstinence based which my office introduced last year in partnership with Mayor Breed and Adult Probation, we began looking into additional strategies to get people off the street and into alternative sentencing programs. The Minna Project provides a needed service to members of our community who need not only a bed, but tailored health services to assist in the recovery process. This model is a step in the right direction when we talk about finding solutions for San Francisco’s unhoused and justice involved population that are dealing with mental health and substance disorders,” said Supervisor Ahsha Safaí.
This press release was produced by the San Francisco Office of the Mayor. The views expressed here are the author’s own.