Mayor Breed Announces Opening of 72 Behavioral Health Beds on Treasure Island

New residential step-down beds provide stable housing for people in substance use outpatient treatment programs who are at risk of homelessness

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed and HealthRIGHT 360 today announced the opening of 72 new residential step-down beds on Treasure Island for people who are continuing outpatient substance use treatment and are at risk of homelessness. The beds are part of Mayor Breed’s efforts to expand the number of mental health and substance use treatment beds throughout the city and will be operated as part of HealthRIGHT 360’s Recovery Residence Program. Residential step-down beds are one type of behavioral health bed in the City’s system and provide a safe and stable place for people to live as they continue outpatient treatment for substance use disorders.

“This new facility will help so many people who are on the path to recovery but still need significant support to keep them healthy and housed,” said Mayor Breed. “Participating in substance use outpatient treatment and recovering from addiction is challenging enough on its own, and people shouldn’t also have to worry about where they’ll sleep at night or how they’ll pay rent. We want people to get better, and by providing a safe place for them to stay, we can help them continue on the road to recovery.”

The 72 beds on Treasure Island were funded through a combination of excess Educational Revenue Augmentation Funds in Fiscal Year 2018-19 and 2019-20 and a contract with HealthRIGHT 360 from the California Department of Health Care Services. The residential step-down beds are for people who are transitioning from more intensive substance use residential programs into outpatient services. The beds are in a recently renovated, home-like environment with a spacious backyard. On-site recovery coaches provide residents with mentorship and support, and assist residents with finding and maintaining a job, building social skills, self-esteem, and goal setting.

The Department of Public Health (DPH) contracts with service providers in the City, like HealthRIGHT 360, to operate facilities at various levels of care in the behavioral health system. The City currently funds approximately 2,000 behavioral health beds at multiple levels of care. Since taking office, Mayor Breed has identified funding for more than 200 behavioral health beds, and is committed to adding additional beds to the system of care.

“When people step up and participate in drug treatment, it is crucial that they have a place to live while receiving ongoing care,” said Supervisor Matt Haney. “The 72 people who will live in this facility are people who might otherwise have slipped through the cracks and back out onto the streets.  We all know that there is a crisis on our streets, and we urgently require a dramatic expansion of mental health and substance use treatment beds and resources. This new residential facility is a reason for celebration, and I am looking forward to partnering with the Mayor to build many more beds through Mental Health SF.”

“We couldn’t be more excited about our Recovery Residence Program,” said Vitka Eisen, President and Chief Executive Office of HealthRIGHT 360. “Providing a safe space specifically for people who are at risk of homelessness helps sustain the strides made in substance use treatment, because where there is risk of homelessness there is risk of return to problematic substance use. Our Recovery Residence Program provides stable living for clients accessing outpatient services and is a common sense approach to healthcare for our community.”

Following 90-day residential substance use treatment programs, individuals can continue seeking treatment in outpatient programs. Residential step-down beds help ensure that people who wish to continue treatment can do so without worrying about where they will live during that time.

HealthRIGHT 360’s Recovery Residence Program connects residents to treatment at licensed outpatient programs of their choice. No substance use treatment or mental health services take place on the premises; however, the beds provide a safe and stable place for people to live while they continue seeking treatment at outpatient facilities. Clients may stay in residential step-down beds for up to 24 months. HealthRIGHT 360 has a similar residential program called “Recovery Step Down.” With the Recovery Step Down program, successful completions of outpatient treatment increased by 88%, from 20% to 37%, and the average length of stay in outpatient treatment increased by an average of 45 days, from 102 days to 147 days. Additionally, the percentage of clients who completed treatment with a job increased by 25%, from 34% to 43%.

“The Department of Public Health helps thousands of San Franciscans find compassionate, high-quality treatment for substance use disorders every year,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, Director of Health. “With the support of Mayor Breed and our partners at HealthRIGHT 360, we are now able to serve even more people. These 72 new beds will provide stable housing for clients who are continuing their recovery in outpatient treatment settings and will play a key role in the ongoing transformation of behavioral health care in our city.”

“The evidence tells us that people with substance use disorder are twice as likely to maintain their outpatient treatment when they are in stable settings,” said Dr. Anton Nigusse Bland, Director of Mental Health Reform. “That’s why beds like these are so important to support clients on the road to recovery. We are recommending adding more such residential step-down beds, more residential treatment, and more housing placements as part of Mayor Breed’s commitment to expand San Francisco’s behavioral health care system.”

Last week, Mayor Breed and Supervisors Hillary Ronen and Matt Haney introduced Mental Health SF at the Board of Supervisors. Mental Health SF is a comprehensive approach to reforming the City’s mental health and substance use treatment system, while providing targeted care to people who are most vulnerable, including those who are homeless and who are suffering from mental illness and/or a substance use disorder. Mental Health SF emphasizes expanding access to treatment, which is aligned with Mayor Breed’s commitment to add new behavioral health beds, including these 72 beds.