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Mayor London N. Breed has appointed Dr. Anton Nigusse Bland to serve as director of mental health reform. In this new role created by Mayor Breed, Dr. Nigusse Bland will be responsible for reviewing how San Francisco provides mental health and substance use services to homeless individuals and making recommendations on how to reform the system.
Board of Supervisors President and candidate for mayor London Breed has announced an aggressive plan to address San Francisco’s homelessness crisis, focused on building more housing, more quickly; preventing those who are currently housed from falling into homelessness; improving street behavior and offering more services for addiction and mental health issues; and getting tent encampments off the street.
It’s Friday afternoon at the drop-in center known as Mother Brown’s on the corner of Jennings Street and Van Dyke Avenue. Despite the iron-gated door fronting the entrance, people drop in freely to check their mail, take a shower, do laundry or chill out in the reception area. For a nominal fee, Mother Brown’s rents out lockers. Gwendolyn Westbrook, the director of the United Council of Human Services – the official name of Mother Brown’s – as well as staff, describe the place as a community center. Client Johnny Scott likens Mother Brown’s to a family. “This here is a place where people get along,” he says.