Update: The Santa Clara County leader is prioritizing mental illness treatment and child care

Santa Clara County is coping with unaffordable housing, inaccessible baby care, homelessness, and a psychological well being disaster. A pacesetter desires to construct alliances to unravel the area’s most urgent issues.

Superintendent Susan Ellenberg described her “Constructing Collectively” agenda Tuesday in her first state of the county deal with as chair of the Board of Supervisors. She careworn the significance of constructing belief with the general public by means of transparency, accountability and accessibility.

“Whereas[the issues]usually are not distinctive, they’re daunting,” Ellenberg mentioned. “However I do not really feel defeated, and you do not have to be. As a result of collectively, we are able to discover options that not solely mitigate these challenges, but in addition uplift our communities.”

Superintendent Susan Ellenberg is sworn in to her second time period on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. Photograph by Tran Nguyen.

As one of many coverage makers who introduced A Psychological well being emergencies In Santa Clara County final January, Ellenberg, 56, mentioned addressing the psychological well being and substance abuse disaster stays her high precedence. She joined supervisor otto lee final 12 months at Sound the alarmciting file will increase in suicides and drug overdoses, inadequate variety of beds in therapy amenities and Overuse of prisons As a “final resort” for these in want of therapy.

She mentioned she would proceed to push for extra assets and construct the workforce to satisfy the area’s calls for. The province goals so as to add 500 behavioral well being therapy beds by 2025, with 40 at the moment in operation and one other 50 set to return on-line inside a couple of months.

“Psychological well being points and substance use dysfunction needs to be handled synonymously, from a therapy perspective, not by means of a punitive method,” Ellenberg mentioned.

The county has made some progress up to now 12 months. This previous February, the county launched the Assisted Outpatient Remedy Program, generally known as Laura Legislation. As carried out 988, a Hotline for suicide and the psychological well being disaster. some nonetheless skeptical of this system’s effectivenessin line with scarcity of employees, for extended intervals and police-only responses to critical psychological well being crises. interrupt too Dedicated to spending tens of millions of {dollars} earlier this 12 months to proceed a number of short-term psychological well being packages and spend money on the county’s workforce.

Dave Mineta, President and CEO of Psychological Well being Service Supplier Momentum for Well beingHe mentioned that Ellenberg’s method would assist the county and native organizations work higher collectively.

“The collaboration between the county and its group companions is essential,” Mineta advised the San José Highlight. “We want a consensus in order that we are able to help these in our group who’re going through psychological and behavioral well being challenges.”

Santa Clara County Supervisor Susan Ellenberg delivers her speech as chair of the board. Photograph by Tran Nguyen.

Broaden baby care companies

Ellenberg additionally pledged to advocate for efforts to make childcare extra accessible and inexpensive within the county, citing the monetary burden related to such companies.

“We have to cease considering so narrowly about baby care as whether it is only a problem and duty of a person father or mother,” she advised San José Highlight. “We have to perceive that[universal child care]is an financial anti-poverty and employment-promoting software with critical penalties.”

Based on a 2022 Joint Enterprise Silicon Valley research, Virtually half of all youngsters Throughout Santa Clara and San Mateo counties dwell in households struggling to afford primary wants.

Ellenberg has been lobbying to maintain the amenities upgraded and to rent extra employees to enhance the issue. Her workplace funded one other research final 12 months exhibiting that all-day childcare companies may assist practically 30,000 folks, or 7,000 households, enhance their high quality of life.

Santa Clara County resident Chris Leung mentioned she was impressed with Ellenberg’s dedication to creating childcare extra accessible.

“They appear to have the ability to get entry to different folks working collectively,” Leung advised San José Highlight. “It is good that it is targeted on youngsters, however I hope there can even be packages for (aged) residents like myself.”

For residents Julie Krigel and Julie Stover, Ellenberg’s dedication to youngsters and households is the spotlight of her work. Krigel is Ellenberg’s cousin. The couple works at ArtHouse Studio, a non-profit group that helps college students interact in artwork.

“Susan cares deeply in regards to the youngsters in our group,” Stauffer advised the San Jose Highlight. “I’ve achieved lots to get funding and construct packages that[wouldn’t have happened].”

Addressing homelessness and housing

Ellenberg mentioned the county will proceed its work addressing homelessness and constructing inexpensive housing. The realm has seen an explosion within the homeless inhabitants up to now decade, with a complete of Greater than 10,000 folks As of final 12 months. Underneath the management of Ellenberg and Superintendent Cindy Chavez, the boycott marketing campaign focused homeless households generally known as Head residence Helped 937 households off the streets.

To handle this problem, county officers have allotted $812.7 million of the $950 million Measurement A Fund to assist fund inexpensive housing throughout the South Bay. As of November, the county’s Measure A funds have produced 1,186 houses serving 2,508 folks. About 1,000 houses are slated for completion by subsequent 12 months, and greater than 2,600 are within the pipeline.

Jane Loving, CEO of Vacation spot: Residence, mentioned she’s assured Ellenberg can convey extra housing and assets to the county.

“With out the county’s management over the previous 5 years, there could be completely no manner we may get 20,000 folks off the streets,[but]we nonetheless must increase,” Loving advised the San Jose Highlight. Superintendent Ellenberg understands the foundation causes of homelessness. I could not be extra excited to be driving it.”

It is sensible for Ellenberg to give attention to a number of massive points, mentioned Jim Reed, San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan’s chief of employees.

“I assumed that was an awesome speech,” Reed advised Jose Highlight. ‘The province is not going to be bored subsequent 12 months.’

Contact Tran Nguyen at [email protected] or proceed @tweet on Twitter.

Editor’s observe: Jane Loving, CEO of Vacation spot: Residence, sits on the San José Highlight Board of Administrators.

Leave a Comment