Proposition 63 Makes Up for Cuts in Mental Health Spending Helping Stop Homelessness

Turning Point has offered a path to mental health since 1976. Prop 63 has made a significant difference in meeting the needs of Turning Point’s mental health clients.

Community mental health providers are on the front lines of the state’s mental health delivery system, so we see firsthand how decades of fiscal neglect have made it difficult to adequately help people with mental illness and their families. Many have cycled through emergency rooms, jails, and life on the streets before walking through our doors.

California voters recognized that up-front investments in mental wellness make more sense than constantly responding to crises when they passed Proposition 63 (the Mental Health Services Act) in 2004. Because of Prop. 63, we have been able to expand the most successful programs that bring together the necessary ingredients — from housing to employment – that are critical to recovery for people with mental illness.

Prop. 63 also marked a fundamental shift away from the old system by engaging people with mental illness, their families and the public in designing programs to serve their needs, rather than taking a top-down approach. That enables service providers to do what we do best – design programs that work. Prop. 63 has allowed Turning Point Community Programs to provide new cost-effective mental health services reducing incarcerations, hospitalizations and homelessness.

While intended to expand the availability of services, state budget cuts to mental health services mean Prop. 63 is now the backbone of our mental health delivery service system. Hundreds of millions of dollars cut from the community mental health system and other safety net programs challenge our ability to provide mental health services to everyone who needs them.
With the state’s safety net tattered and a slow economic recovery predicted, we know that without this initiative we would see many more people with mental illness on our streets and in our jails and emergency rooms.

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