City announces launch of behavioral health facility to help homeless people exiting jail

Jefferey Metcalfe

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) – San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Wednesday announced the opening of a new facility in the city’s South of Market neighborhood for homeless residents transitioning out of the criminal justice system and in need of behavioral health services.

The new transitional housing facility, called the Minna Project and located at 509 Minna St., will be able to house up to 75 individuals once it opens in early May.

Participants will have access to services including mental health and substance use treatment, case management, medication management, support groups, and recreational activities, with the goal of helping them become independent and avoid homelessness after having been involved in the criminal justice system.

The program will work with participants for one to two years and through the effort, the city is hoping to ensure people with behavioral health needs avoid both jail time and life on the streets.

According to city officials, as many as one-third of all people involved in the criminal justice system depend on behavioral health care.

“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,” Breed said in a statement. “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.”

The Minna Project is a collaboration between the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the San Francisco Adult Probation Department, as well as community organizations Westside Community Services and Tenderloin Housing Clinic.

“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,” SFDPH Deputy Health Director Dr. Naveena Bobba said.

The Minna Project is part of an effort to add some 400 beds citywide over the coming years, providing more spaces and options for homeless people in need of treatment.

Copyright © 2022 Bay City News, Inc.

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