State Senate Bill Would Ease Rules for Cities Seeking Conservatorship Over Homeless

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The homeless camp of Jarrett Keesling and Kelli Lengele, whom are among the hundreds of homeless Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) interacted with as it conducts its annual count of homeless county residents Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017 in Contra Costa County.  (Photo: Eric Kayne)

State Senator Scott Wiener has proposed a bill to broaden state conservatorship laws as a way to help get severely mentally ill and drug-addicted people off the streets and into treatment. SB-1045 contains few details, but aims to expand the definition of “gravely disabled” and the current 72-hour hold limit for chronically homeless people. Homeless advocates say that the bill does nothing to address the root causes of homelessness and that cities should expand psychiatric outreach programs instead. We'll take up the debate.


Scott Wiener, California state senator; co-author of SB1045

Jennifer Friedenbach, Executive Director, Coalition on Homelessness