COVID-19 ADAP Update from the California Department of Public Health Office of AIDS

  • For all participants whose enrollment expired or was set to expire before August 30, 2020
    • ADAP & PrEP-AP has extended eligibility to August 31, 2020
  • OA-HIPP, EB-HIPP & MDPP enrollments have been extended through September 30, 2020
  • New ADAP applicants can reach out by phone or email to an enrollment worker
  • If you are having difficulty finding an enrollment worker, call 844-421-7050 for assistance
  • Until July 15, 2020, applicants can provide their 2018 tax returns as proof of income for program eligibility

Black Lives Matter

In response to the tragic events of the past week, we want to restate our key organizational value of Justice in all its forms. Our clients represent communities that have long faced cyclical poverty and structural inequity. At a time when their suffering is already compounded by COVID-19’s devastating impact on their health, community and opportunity, the latest reminders of a century’s-long legacy of brutality against African Americans is sending so many more of those we serve into a cycle of unprecedented despair, pain and disorder.

While we are hopeful that the police officers who caused George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis are brought to justice, PRC is examining ways to focus on the systemic issues that can prevent future suffering. As a service provider that helps more than 5,700 San Franciscans overcome legal, health, and poverty related barriers every year, PRC is here to help bring about change on a broader and higher level. We are duty-bound to join forces with those who seek to fix our broken systems that allow inequality and brutality to continue.

BLACK lives matter. Our clients’ lives matter. Through our efforts to form the African American Leadership Council combined with our membership in several other coalitions, we will drive change that impacts and improves both the communities we represent and the lives we’re here to protect. Please join our e-community to learn more and become involved. Together, we can truly change our world.

Emergency Response to COVID Must Include Behavioral Health

What happens when Californians living with mental illness and substance use disorders (SUDs) are unable to receive the care they need? Historically, many end up in jails and Emergency Departments or living on the street. Before COVID-19, this was an inadequate solution, one that community safety net providers worked hard to remedy. Now, the need for mental health and SUD services takes on new urgency. Our Emergency Departments are stretched to the limit. Behavioral healthcare providers statewide are doing everything we can to serve people with urgent mental health and SUD needs in community settings, and out of hospitals. But, just when our communities need us most, we may be at risk of collapse.

Behavioral health organizations are facing a true perfect storm. We continue to provide essential services, including in-person contact with clients in crisis. According to a survey conducted by the California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies (CBHA), 89 percent of member agencies lack the necessary personal protective equipment, including masks, hand sanitizer and gloves. Meanwhile, our agencies are hemorrhaging financially. Many organizations are serving fewer clients, even with telehealth options, as people are isolated and afraid to reach out for help. Several organizations have been forced to furlough and cut staff, and the crisis promises to continue to negatively impact our agencies and our clients.

Nevertheless, our professionals continue to work despite fear and uncertainties. Outreach to individuals experiencing homelessness continues. Transporting people into shelters continues. Residential mental health and SUD treatment facilities and halfway houses continue to operate. Suicide prevention hotlines continue to operate as the number of urgent calls steadily increases.

Make no mistake – the need for mental health and SUD services has not declined. On the contrary, symptoms of anxiety, depression and isolation are sweeping the nation. And, very soon, frontline healthcare workers will begin presenting signs of post-traumatic stress disorder.

A second wave of this crisis is taking shape, a mental health crisis that will begin to peak just as new infection numbers start to decline. As the leaders of three of California’s largest behavioral healthcare providers serving some of our state’s most vulnerable individuals, we are worried that we may not be able to help when our state needs us most.

Our organizations continue to reverse overdoses that would otherwise likely have been fatal. We have kept people out of overtaxed Emergency Departments and jails. We have kept people from dying. But, we cannot survive like this. We need help and we need it right away.

That is why we have joined with the National Council for Behavioral Health to advocate for a $38.5 billion infusion of federal emergency funds for behavioral health organizations to avert a large-scale public health calamity. As part of the next stimulus bill, this funding would immediately stabilize the system and ensure that providers like us can provide services to the hundreds of thousands of individuals in California that depend on us.

The value of such an investment goes far beyond the immediate need. Just as frontline healthcare workers have been there when our communities needed the most, we want to be sure behavioral healthcare professionals are able to help. This will not be possible without immediate, emergency funding.

We are grateful to Speaker Pelosi for her work to get bipartisan agreement for the previous stimulus package, and hope that she will be able to secure similar support for behavioral health providers in the next package.

All too often, people living with mental illness and SUDs are forgotten, overlooked or cast out of sight. Now more than ever, we must care for them. Only then can we ensure the health and well-being of all Californians.

Brett Andrews is CEO of PRC, Vitka Eisen is President and CEO of HealthRIGHT 360 and Al Gilbert is President and CEO of Felton Institute

Learn more about the National Council for Behavioral Health.

A new job and new hope: Henry’s Resilience

A sense of momentum was hard to hold onto with the COVID-19 pandemic unfurling around him. Not only did Henry lose his income as a driver for Lyft, but his sense of well-being and a promising future—like all of us struggling to stay positive and focused during the changed circumstances of this public health emergency—disappeared.

I am grateful for PRC—all the help, the patience, and the communication. Now, I look forward to tomorrow.

Troy Boyd and Joe Ramirez-Forcier of PRC’s Workforce Development program describe Henry as a “eager and willing to do whatever he needed to improve his life.” Facing many challenges growing up gay in Colombia, unsupported by family, and forced into life on the streets, Henry sought a better life in a place he could bring forward his whole self. He’d recently been granted asylum, and PRC helped him enroll in English as a Second Language classes at City College San Francisco to boost capacity and confidence. With his Employment Specialist, Henry put together a strong resume and gathered references while he volunteered part-time at PRC and began driving part-time for Lyft.

Henry felt things were really beginning to look up.

As his confidence grew, he wanted to put the degree he earned in psychology from his home country to work, and he joined the second cohort of PRC’s new Lift Up Peer to Peer Program, an occupational Skills Training course in peer-to-peer professions and social service settings. For Henry, the program was a “wonderful refresher” and “critical opportunity to build and practice workplace vocabulary.”

Graduating in March 2020, Henry was certified as a Peer to Peer Specialist just as the Shelter In Place Order brought many aspects of regular life to a halt in San Francisco. Henry was deflated, but his PRC team rallied together, encouraging him to apply for an open position as a Residential Relief Counselor with Baker Places. His preparation netted a virtual interview, and with his wrap around PRC support system, Henry got the job!

Graduation

We are very proud of him for sticking to it and believing in himself during the difficulties presented COVID-19. Completing pre-employment training this week, Henry begins his assignments as a Relief Counselor soon.

“My life is normal, I think,” Henry said this week. “I don’t always feel proud of my history, but I’m like everybody, and I am grateful for PRC—all the help, the patience, and the communication. Now, I look forward to tomorrow.”

Explore PRC’s Workforce Development program.

Return to Spring 2020 Frontline e-News.

Accessing Services During COVID-19 Shelter-In-Place

Your health and safety are our top priority at PRC. During this COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) public health emergency, we remain steadfast in our mission to stabilize and champion the most vulnerable among us and to support adults of all ages who are affected by addiction, HIV/AIDS, mental health challenges, under or unemployment, and homelessness. 

We are here for you now, providing services to meet changing needs and circumstances every day.

We plan to begin re-opening the Integrated Service Center in January 2021Given that the majority of our clients are medically fragile and 17 percent are over age 60, we are working diligently to design alternative and safe methods for service access and ensure the health and safety of our clients and all vulnerable San Franciscans impacted by behavioral health disorders, HIV/AIDS, poverty and homelessness.  PRC’s Executive Team is currently drafting policies and procedures to safely ramp up in-person support services, in compliance with the most up-to-date California and San Francisco Department of Public Health guidelines, and reignite the full complement of PRC’s resources, accessibility, and heart for staff, volunteers and clients alike.      

Please do all you can to adhere to the City/State’s public health order to wear masks, social distance, and stay home as much as possible except for essential needs. Find details and read the public health order here. These are critical interventions to protect each other and reduce harm from the spread of the coronavirus in our community. Most of our clients, and many of our staff, are considered “vulnerable” during this public health emergency – making your adherence even more essential. 

We will continue to keep this page updated with any changes to our protocols or service accessibility. Last revision 8/4/2020. 


The following are considered essential services by the San Francisco Department of Public Health: 

RESIDENTIAL SERVICES: 

All residential programs are providing essential services to clients every day, 24 hours a day and operating under heightened COVID-19 safety protocols. Inside substance use and mental health residential treatment homes, supportive housing, and Hummingbird behavioral health and homeless navigation programs clients are Sheltering In Place and being educated on universal precautions. In accordance with the COVID-19 emergency order, residents will be not be discharged without a verified housing plan.

For information regarding intakes and eligibility, contact Emily Suma, Director of Intake at esuma@bakerplaces.org or 415-864-1515.

EMERGENCY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE: 

Emergency financial assistance is operating on a limited basis. Direct referrals and inquiries to lee.harrington@prcsf.org or 415-972-0857 or carlos.alicea@prcsf.org or 415-972-0858. Response will occur within 48 hours, during regular business hours. 

Limited client drop in hours for assessment or paperwork completion is taking place three times weekly, from 1:00pm to 3:00pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays at 170 9th Street in San Francisco. Protocols are in place to maintain proper social distancing of six feet between persons while waiting and during service exchanges. Clients, staff, and volunteers are required to adhere to social distancing practices and additional measures instituted to protect the health and safety of vulnerable individuals. 

Checks for previously approved emergency fund grants will be available for pick up on Thursdays between 1:00pm and 3:00pm, as previously arranged. 

The Mayor’s Office has issued policies about not evicting tenants or cutting off key utilities due to non-payment during this time, but steps may need to be taken by residents and tenants to secure these protections.  

SUPPORTIVE HOUSING/CO-OP CASE MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS 

Residents of Supportive Housing have REMOTE access to case managers during normal business hours and regularly scheduled support sessions to sustain treatment progress and stability, with increased, in-person and immediate services available as needed. The emergency on-call phone continues to offer support outside normal business hours. Clients are Sheltering In Place, being educated on universal precautions, and screenings for exposure are conducted during every client interaction, whether remote or in person, such that each client is being screened at least once per week. Residents will only be discharged if alternative permanent housing or higher levels of care have been secured.  

For information regarding intakes and eligibility, contact Jessica Winterrowd, Project Director at jwinterrowd@bakerplaces.org or 415-777-0333 x260.

The following non-essential services, as defined by the San Francisco Department of Public Health, are operating in limited capacities during the COVID-19 Shelter-In-Place Order and remotely, as possible: 

LEGAL ADVOCACY 

Services are operating REMOTELY, and we are in close contact with SSA field and hearing offices, keeping abreast of changes that may affect our clients.

Current clients: If you have a question about the status of your case, please reach out directly to your PRC Advocate by phone or email. We are doing our best to stay in contact with our clients, but please be patient if your representative does not respond immediately.  If you do no know who your advocate is, please call PRC’s front desk at 415-777-0333, leave your call back number, and allow extra time for a call back.

Referrals and Intakes: For new client inquiries, please reach out to Alisa Jackson, Supervising Legal Assistant at 415-972-0815.

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT 

Employment Services are operating REMOTELY. 

Current clients: For individualized counseling and support services, please reach out directly to your PRC Specialist by phone or email for assistance with employment related questions, support, and assistance.

Referrals and Intakes: New client inquiries and referrals are welcome. Contact Dennis Reilly at 415-972-0819 or dennis.reilly@prcsf.org.

Training Services are providing teleservices to existing clients and developing remote learning strategies. 

  • LIFT UP SF Training groups are occurring weekly via remote teleconferencing; and we’re accepting applications for the next cohort, beginning soon. 
  • Next Step and First Step computer-based group training courses are on hold. Waitlists are being formed. We are accepting inquiries, applications, and referrals at this time for all group computer classes.
  • Remote digital literacy education and support is available on request on an individual basis. 
  • Please contact Brian Whitford for all Training inquiries at 415-972-0805 or brian.whitford@prcsf.org. 

HOUSING PLANNING PROGRAM

Current clients: For individualized counseling and support services, please reach out directly to your Housing Planning Program Contact or Michael Scarce at 415-972-0873 or michael.scarce@prcsf.org.


From day one of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) response, PRC has been working hand in hand with local, state, and federal public health leaders to develop and support response protocols. PRC also is a key partner in the City’s activation of resources to prevent and contain community transmissions, and we are staying abreast of the CDC and San Francisco Department of Public Heath’s contact guidelines. 

Together, we will do what it takes to strengthen our safety net and continue moving lives forward in the days, weeks, and decades to come. 

COVID-19 Update – A Message from our CEO March 20, 2020

Dear Friends,

I know this is such a challenging time for all of us. On behalf of PRC, I want to extend my heartfelt appreciation to all of you for stepping forward to support our community, particularly those most vulnerable – your support and engagement is a wonderful demonstration of our collective humanity.

PRC remains steadfast in our mission to stabilize and champion the 5,700 vulnerable people we serve, adults of all ages who face mental and physical health challenges in the best of times, alongside economic and housing instability. In today’s swiftly changing landscape, we’re focused on sustaining the health and safety of our community, our clients, and the incredible and dedicated staff responding to their evolving needs.

I want to assure you that during this COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) public health emergency, we continue housing and providing essential services to our clients every day. Inside our substance use and mental health residential treatment homes, supported living environments, and Hummingbird homeless navigation programs, Residential Services are all operating under heightened safety protocols. 

Other “essential services,” Emergency Financial Assistance and Co-op Supported Livinghave LIMITED in-person accessibility at our Integrated Service Center (170 9th Street) and REMOTE accessibility during all regular business hours.  

PRC’s “non-essential, as defined by the San Francisco Department of Public Health, wrap-around servicesare operating in limited capacities during the COVID-19 Shelter-In-Place Order. Legal AdvocacyWorkforce Development, and Housing Planning Program are providing services and information to clients about options, safety protocols, and community resources REMOTELY.

We can be reached at 415-777-0333 and info@prcsf.org with questions about appointments and accessibility. Read more [link to FAQ, coming soon] about specific program hours and access protocols.

From day one of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) response, PRC has been working hand in hand with local, state, and federal public health leaders to develop and support response protocols. PRC also is a key partner in the City’s activation of resources to prevent and contain community transmissions, and we are staying abreast of the CDC and San Francisco Department of Public Heath’s contact guidelines.

Nearly every person we serve is considered “vulnerable” in this Public Health Emergency. That vulnerability is only heightened by Shelter-In-Place orders changing access to needed social and health services across public and private sectors and COVID-19 necessitated disruptions in economic activity. So, thank you for your continued engagement and support.

We’re working hard with and on behalf of clients to retain and secure the income and jobs they need, to stay safely housed, to protect themselves from COVID-19, and to have access to food and essential prescription medications. We will continue to keep you and our website updated as more information becomes available.

Together, we will do what it takes to strengthen our safety net and continue moving lives forward in the days, weeks, and decades to come.

In Community,

Brett Andrews

Chief Executive Officer

P.S. If you missed the news earlier this week we’re pleased to inform you the City of San Francisco and PRC are moving ahead to open a 30-bed community-based “Hummingbird-model” navigation center focused on getting chronically homeless individuals with mental health and substance use disorders off the streets, into healthier conditions, and on their way to longer-term care.

ORDER OF THE HEALTH OFFICER No. C19-09 & -07c – Shelter In Place through May 31

April 29th – San Francisco’s health orders were updated and extended through May 31st.

Click here to access the updated order, Frequently Asked Questions, and information about “what has changed” from the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

March 31st – San Francisco Department of Health has issued “ORDER OF THE HEALTH OFFICER No. C19-07b (SHELTER IN PLACE)” which outlines requirements for San Francisco residents, businesses, and visitors.

Click here for access to an overview and full information on this order

March 20th – San Francisco Department of Health has issued “ORDER OF THE HEALTH OFFICER No. C19-09 (LIMITATIONS ON RESIDENTIAL FACILITY VISITORS)” which outlines the constraints currently in place on visitors to PRC BP residential facilities.

Click here for access to the full information on this order.