By ARISE member Eddie S.
On August 22, 2019, ARISE Members and MHASF Staff joined health care providers, patients, family members and community members at the San Francisco General Hospital's Adult Residential Facility (ARF) to protest the San Francisco Department of Public Health's plan to close 41 permanent long term psychiatric beds and replace them with 27 beds for short term use at the Hummingbird House Navigation Center.
Presently, because of staffing and "probation" issues, ARF has empty beds which providers would like to use for patients who no longer need to be in locked facilities, relieving one of many logjams in the public mental health system.
At the rally, unionized health care workers, psychiatrists, ARF residents and their families and elected officials demanded that SFDPH reverse its decision to eliminate these long term beds.
15 year ARF resident Donna Mateer (pictured above) explained, “Our director gave us 60-day notices out of the blue — it’s kind of unreal. It’s like, ‘Oh, I have two months to think about moving.'"
"I don’t think it’s fair. Mental illness is a real thing. Having to live with it is a job in itself. I’m so very thankful today to be alive."
The DPH proposal is so stunning and secretive that Supervisors Matt Haney and Hillary Ronen are calling for a public hearing at the Board of Supervisors.
You can sign an online petition to stop SFDPH from displacing people from ARF and from outsourcing jobs.