In an effort to keep thousands of people with mental illness from becoming homeless, a coalition of L.A. County officials and homeless advocates is urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to put $500 million into his January budget proposal to shore up financially struggling board and care homes.
The money, according to a fact sheet submitted by the California County Behavioral Health Directors Assn. and the Steinberg Institute, is needed to preserve potentially hundreds of homes that are on the brink of closure because the state reimbursement rate is too low to cover their rising costs.
A recent survey by the California Community Care Licensing Division found that 39 board and care homes closed in Los Angeles County over a three-year period, leaving only 159 in operation.
Generally located in small apartment buildings or single-family homes, board and care homes provide shelter, three meals a day, housekeeping and medication management to residents. Those serving indigent residents — the majority — are reimbursed $1,058 a month by the state, or about $35 a day, and cannot charge more than that.
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