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Gavin Newsom Launches ‘CARE Court’ to Allow Homeless to Be Moved Off Streets


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California Gov. Gavin Newsom released a new proposal to allow counties to intervene with homeless individuals and remove them from the streets into a system called the “CARE Court” that would refer them to mental health services.

The proposal reverses decades of refusal by the state to allow homeless people to be involuntarily committed, though it takes what Newsom describes as a more “compassionate” approach than was taken through the first half of the twentieth century.

In a statement, Newsom explained:

CARE Court does not wait until someone is hospitalized or arrested before providing treatment. CARE Court will provide an opportunity for a range of people, including family members, first responders, intervention teams, and mental health service providers, among others, to refer individuals suffering from a list of specific ailments, many of them unhoused, and get them into community-based services.

CARE Court offers court-ordered individualized interventions and services, stabilization medication, advanced mental health directives, and housing assistance – all while remaining community-based. Plans can be up to 12-24 months.

Within the Care COURT, homeless people would have access to legal representation, so that whatever decisions are made are self-directed.

Newsom explained further: “In addition to their full clinical team, the client-centered approach also includes a public defender and a supporter to help individuals make self-directed care decisions.”


Care of the "court?"

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