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The Victoria's House is part of the City's plan to add 400 new residential and treatment bed for people experiencing mental health and substance use issues. To date as part of this expansion, the City has created 179 new bed spaces, which include the openings of the SoMa RISE Drug Sobering Center and The Minna Project this year, with an additional 70 beds by the end of August. In total, the addition of beds equates to nearly 250 or 2/3 towards meeting the City's goal.
"Victoria's House will provide critical support so people struggling with mental health and addiction issues can get the care they need," said Mayor London Breed. "This facility is part of our strategy to expand the types of beds we provide, from crisis support to long-term care, based on data. If we are going to address the challenges we see every day on our streets, we need facilities like Victoria's House, so we have safe and stable places for people to go."
"We are excited to have this new addition to our residential and treatment care facilities." Said Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax "Victoria's House is an innovative model of care that will help many in need of recovery and access to housing. It is imperative that we have these systems in place across the continuum of care to support people with mental and substance use disorders to live independently."
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The 12-month rehabilitative program is designed to support and prepare clients to learn how to live independently and step-down to the lowest level of care as part of Victoria's House's transitional care model. Additionally, clients will have a better opportunity to find stable housing, which will ultimately increase overall City homelessness and shelter efforts. This is especially important for more vulnerable clients of Victoria's House, such as those living with severe mental health disorders and substance use dependencies.
Clients may also undergo cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and other techniques to achieve independence living skills allowing clients to successfully transition into their communities.
"To effectively address mental health and substance abuse, our city must have programs that not only support individuals in their treatment but help them reach the goal of ultimately living independently. The addition of the Victoria's House in the Mission District is a meaningful step in expanding the behavioral health continuum of care under Mental Health SF," said Supervisor Hillary Ronen. "We need to continue adding treatment options in San Francisco which provide wrap around services for people's continued success and well-being."
The expansion effort is guided by the 2020 DPH Behavioral Health Bed Optimization Report, Mental Health SF legislation, and with input from stakeholders. The house offers an additional 46 beds for adults with mental health illness and/or substance use who experience homelessness. Clients who will be placed at Victoria's House are referred from acute inpatient hospitals, locked facilities, and jails.
"One the very first pieces of legislation I introduced as a supervisor was a measure to protect existing Board and Care facilities and make it easier to build new ones," said Supervisor Rafael Mandelman. "Thus, I am especially proud to see the opening of a new and much-needed facility like Victoria's House, which will both add to our housing opportunities for vulnerable residents and provide a rehabilitative setting for people struggling with addiction and mental health issues."
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Building on the City's expanding network of treatment bed facilities also reduces the use of expensive acute inpatient placements, primarily for clients with behavioral and physical health conditions that are also in need of rehabilitation and social services. After 12 months, clients will be re-assessed if they are ready to live independently or need an extended stay. The SFDPH Residential System of Care will then assist with housing placement.
Community partner A&A Health Services will run operations at Victoria's House with oversight by SFDPH. Staff onsite will monitor and engage with clients. A&A Health Service is a non-profit community provider who supports adults who suffer from mental health, addiction, and/or dual diagnosis while address the gaps in independent living skills.
"We are thrilled to partner with the City of San Francisco and the Department of Public Health on this project," said Betty Dominici, CEO and Co-Founder of A&A Health Services. "Victoria's House, as well as our San Pablo site, are designed to service clients with severe mental health and substance use needs. Our staff works diligently to support the needs of this community, and through our carefully designed process many leave living happier and healthier lives."
Victoria's House is scheduled to open and begin receiving clients on August 8, 2022. For the latest update on San Francisco's residential care and treatment expansion, please visit: www.sf.gov/residential-care-and-treatment.
San Francisco has also made available a daily update of available mental health and substance use treatment beds, which may be found here: www.findtreatmentsf.org.
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