Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Rafael Mandelman announce the City's purchase of crucial mental health residential care facilities

Grove Street House and South Van Ness Manor will be purchased by the City as part of Mayor Breed’s efforts to stabilize the City’s behavioral health system and ensure care for vulnerable residents

Mayor London N. Breed and Supervisor Rafael Mandelman today announced the City will preserve two residential care facilities that were at risk of closing. On January 29, 2020, the City financed the acquisition of Grove Street House, a State licensed nine-bed, 60-day residential mental health treatment facility North of the Panhandle, carried out in partnership with PRC/Baker Places. Mayor Breed also announced the City’s intent to purchase South Van Ness Manor, a 29-bed licensed Board and Care facility in the Mission. These two properties were identified as opportunities for acquisition and preservation following the Mayor’s announcement last fall to increase funding to acquire sites that support people with behavioral health challenges and are at risk of closing.

“The Grove Street House and South Van Ness Manor provide essential care for some of our most vulnerable residents—people with mental health challenges and substance use disorder, and people who are looking for a step on the path out of homelessness,” said Mayor Breed. “With this financial support from the City, these crucial long-term care facilities will be able to keep operating for years to come. As we work to improve our entire behavioral health system, we need to make sure our existing resources can continue providing the services that people depend on.”

“As the City works to create more places for unhoused people struggling with mental illness, it is critical that we preserve our existing stock of beds and units,” said Supervisor Mandelman. “I’m glad to see the City stepping up to preserve these two facilities, and we need to do much more of this in the future.”

In September 2019, Mayor Breed, Supervisor Mandelman, Supervisor Fewer, and former Supervisor Brown announced a plan to address the closure crisis impacting San Francisco’s Board and Care facilities. The plan from the Mayor was created to do three things: stabilize existing Board and Care facilities; authorize City acquisition of facilities to preserve and expand beds; and reduce pressure to convert to residential use.

Ensuring the continued operation of Board and Care facilities and behavioral health care facilities can help prevent homelessness for vulnerable people. This effort is part of Mayor Breed’s broader mental health reform initiative, which includes a plan to help the nearly 4,000 homeless San Franciscans who have serious mental illness and substance use disorders.

The program at Grove Street House currently serves adult residents, ages 18 to 59 and is unique, as it is the only crisis stabilization program in San Francisco for co-occurring disorders—chronic, severe mental health disorders and substance use disorders. PRC/Baker Places has operated its services at 2157 Grove Street for the past four decades through a long-term rental lease agreement, and will now acquire the building.

The City, with funding from the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD), provided a $3.94 million loan for the acquisition and comprehensive rehabilitation of Grove Street House. The rehabilitation plan includes approximately $675,000 in capital repairs to the building including seismic strengthening, upgrades to the electrical, plumbing, and ventilation systems, among other necessary improvements.

Grove Street House is supported through funding from the San Francisco Department of Public Health through a combination of federal, state, and county sources. This funding supports delivery of individualized treatment and other services to clients residing at Grove Street House.

South Van Ness Manor is a licensed Board and Care facility with 29 beds. In October, the owner of South Van Ness Manor notified the State that they intended to close the facility. Since then, the City has been working to identify a path to purchase the property and maintain it as a Board and Care facility. The City is currently in negotiations with the owner of South Van Ness Manor regarding its purchase and the San Francisco Real Estate Division recently issued a Letter of Intent to Purchase to the building owner.

In addition to stabilizing existing behavioral health facilities, Mayor Breed is working to expand the number of behavioral health beds in San Francisco to ensure that everyone who needs care has a place to go. Earlier this month, Mayor Breed announced a goal of creating at least 2,000 placements over the next two years for people who are experiencing homelessness, including behavioral health beds. The City is in the process of identifying additional long-term care facilities that may need financial support in order to remain open.

“Preserving residential care and treatment beds helps us stabilize a critical resource for San Franciscans who need support to continue living in the community,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, Director of the Department of Public Health. “With the purchase of Grove Street House, DPH is pleased to be growing its partnership with PRC providing needed services to people with co-occurring mental health and substance use needs. We also want to ensure that South Van Ness Manor, with its licensed capacity of nearly 30 beds, can continue to offer board and care to San Francisco residents.”

“We are proud that MOHCD’s growing acquisition and preservation programs are going to directly benefit this vulnerable population of our City who rely on treatment facilities for the safety and security they very much deserve,” said Acting Director Dan Adams, Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development. “It is gratifying to know PRC/Baker Places Grove Street House will continue providing services of the highest level for years to come, and we are grateful for their partnership.”

“The city needs to step up its efforts to purchase and lease properties that are at risk of closing so that we can preserve critical facilities like South Van Ness Manor that so many of our residents depend on,” said Supervisor Hillary Ronen. “In light of the city’s dual homelessness and mental health crisis, we need these board-and-care facilities now more than ever.”

“Preserving mental health facilities is a compassionate and critical part of our obligation to take care of all San Franciscans,” said Supervisor Dean Preston. “We’re looking forward to future partnerships to create and preserve Board and Cares, navigation centers, family shelters, and any other facilities that house and help those who need assistance. We all benefit when neighbors are inside and healthy.”

“In just the last year, 82 people took a critical step along their path to health and independence through Grove Street House, a vital community resource for more than four decades,” said PRC CEO Brett Andrews. “We’re grateful to Mayor Breed, the Department of Public Health, and the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development for their help providing long term sustainability to this one-of-a-kind program and the people we serve.”

“At PRC/Baker Places Grove Street House, I get to be part of a community of people who understand me. I’ve learned how to succeed and step forward in life,” said a Grove Street House resident. “Checking in with my counselor gives me hope and ideas on how to handle life’s future challenges.”