CORRUPT FOUNDATIONS THAT PREY UPON THE MENTALLY ILL
San Francisco prides itself that it is the City that knows how but that cliché is far becoming what I said it is - a cliché. People from outside San Francisco and crooks well versed on preying on innocent human beings have taken control of many institutions and foundations in the City and County of San Francisco. We may think we in the City know how but this is not so. The mentally ill are the ones who are suffering.
For the last 10 years or so I have made it a personal quest to study on my own how the mentally ill are served in this City. I have visited the hospitals, jails, homes, foundations, institutions, and hospital personnel, spoken to hundreds of the mentally ill on the streets of the San Francisco.
Most of the time I listen because really no one listens to these folks who are always preyed upon by the system. They are traumatized.
The City and County of San Francisco have had Mayors and Boards of Supervisors who know some about the situation facing the mentally ill.
Now and then - a former Supervisor like Angela Alioto may care to make waves to address the situation but right now it is just focusing on the tip of the iceberg.
Angela Alioto wants to focus on making good stuff happen - putting a roof over the head of an indigent - taking those who cannot fend for themselves on the streets of San Francisco and give them hope. She does not want nor has time to deal with anything negative that will waste her time or take any efforts backwards. I have read her plan for the homeless and it is a good start knowing well that only if Angela Alioto is at the helm of affairs. Give it to some one else and it will fall by the way side. Why? Trust and commitment. Mayor Gavin Newsom knows that and so do I.
There is the reality of the fact that those who have not had it now suddenly enjoy a certain comfort and stability and cannot cope with it.
It is very difficult; all of a sudden to take most of these folks that society has relegated to the worst condition and gives them hope without any skills and a way of knowing how to be independent.
I have visited those that have been given shelter and some of them and they are in the majority want support and find that missing. I fully understand creating a brand new system while all the time fighting the status quo is difficult but in San Francisco the City that knows how - we should be able to develop a model based on compassion and bending backwards to move forwards. This model demands sacrifice and love. Trust and commitment.
Many of the homeless on the streets of San Francisco are mentally ill. One great way to understand this problem is to visit the jails and you will gauge from the statistics that over 60% have some type of mental illness.
The jail system paradoxically provides one of the best institutional systems to cater to the mentally ill. Linked to the General Hospital millions of dollars are set aside to help those who have acute and well as border line mental problems.
The best system has not been evaluated fully. Compared to the treatment available on the streets which does not exists, in the SF General Hospital which is limited - the jail fulfill the need and so because of the lack of words and limited expression - we say best. There is no comparison to be made - so we look at the only model which is the saving grace - and are thankful it exists.
The General Hospital deals in billions of dollars and a detail study of the system will figure an inordinate proportion of the fiscal appropriations set aside to deal with the mentally ill. In San Francisco within the General Hospital Complex we have a state of art mental hospital that lacks Accountability and Transparency.
On the 7th floor that is a whole floor that caters to the mental ill and this floor is within the Main General Hospital. Here, you can find health workers who are tied to dubious institutions who deal with the mentally ill. Again and again one of the institution that props up is the Progress Foundation.
The Progress Foundation prides itself that it offers innovative mental health care services. The administrative offices are situated at 368 Fell Street in San Francisco. This office can be reach by calling: (415) 861-0828 or facsimile (415) 861-0257.
The Progress Foundation receives millions of dollars every year. An investigation of some its facilities reveal that the facilities are dirty and the patients who are to be cared - totally not taken care of. A system of monitoring and recruiting has been developed wherein those working or living within the many facilities are threatened with repercussion.
I will cite three examples and of course - I will not reveal the true identities but can when the Federal Government - primarily the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Agency administrating Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the SF City Health Commission, other prominent Federal, State, City, and local foundations and agencies are privy to the on going investigation which began two months ago.
In the past some court cases and investigations were stymied. We can fix this and go straight to the Press. We can garner International Support and in this way paint a picture of the true scum bags that prey on the innocent who are mentally ill and cannot fend for themselves.
We have one case and we will call him Akhtar Salim. This innocent man suffered severe burns when a heater exploded. A case manager who tried to reveal the truth about the safety and health condition that were not in place was removed from the case and after some months terminated.
In one of the homes that the Progress Foundation has in the Mission District one of the residents was not given proper care. Residents were encouraged to smoke with no supervision.
The rooms had no heat and some exhibited every ripe condition conducive to a fire hazard thus breaking all fire, health and safety codes. Let us call this resident Sean Hernandez.
The resident was forced out of the resident home landed in hospital and found to have several acute ailments. One of the most pressing cancer of the lung. The cancer has been removed and the patient is now suffering from the after affects which may jeopardize his life.
The third a case manager let us calling him Sitting Bull who saw the prevailing unhygienic conditions and fell prey to a severe skin disease. As a case manager he tried to improve the condition by revealing the facts to the City Attorney and other City officials to no avail. He remains a witness who has remarkable insights into the unsavory methods used by the Progress Foundation to make money off the back of innocent mental victims in this great City we call San Francisco.
In this case an added factor was discrimination. This must stop and the Human Rights Commission, the Mayor, the Governor, the Administrator of the SF General Hospital must call for a through investigation right a way. I am requesting the Board of Supervisors to bear in mind that they are responsible for the care of the constituents and this includes the mentally ill.
I am calling upon Mitch Katz and Gene O'Connor to look into the many discrepancies that have led to the dismissal of workers, expulsion of innocent patients and residents on to the street by the Progress Foundation.
In some cases the intervention of family members and good friends have saved the victims from death. In many cases the mentally ill patients were forced to live on the street of San Francisco and have died. This is a crying shame.
I am calling upon Mayor Gavin Newsom who is my good friend, Angela Alioto who knows me very well, my other friends to whom I will e-mail this article to come to the rescue of our mentally ill. Save them from the clutches of those that can help the mentally ill but prey on them and make millions of dollars.
As a starter I am calling upon Mayor Gavin Newsom, the Controller Harrington, Gene O'Connor the San Francisco General Hospital Chief Administrator to ask for a detail audit of all funds that the City gives and facilities it provides to the Progress Foundation. Visit all and renegotiate all Memoranda of Understanding with this dubious organization that has been making millions from Federal, State, and local grants.
I am requesting the San Francisco General Hospital to request the Federal Agencies to check all Progress Foundation facilities in the City and County of San Francisco for blatant health and safety violations in all of the various facilities in the City and County of San Francisco. Do this within one week before August 31, 2004.
In the interim I am requesting Mayor Gavin Newsom to call Gene O'Connor and Mitch Katz and ask for an explanation about the current state of affairs that jeopardizes the well being of every innocent mental patient that the Progress Foundation purports to want to help but fleeces. This evil must stop.