SF Mayor London Breed proposes $500,000 budget for Asian victims with limited English proficiency

  • San Francisco Mayor London Breed has proposed a $500,000 budget to expand services for Asian crime victims, particularly those with limited English proficiency.
  • Nearly half of the budget ($240,000) will be used to fund trauma recovery clinical services in Cantonese for victims of serious violent crimes or the victims’ family members.
  • Meanwhile, $160,000 will go towards expanding community-based mental health services in Cantonese, with a focus on Asian seniors targeted by hate crimes.
  • Finally, $59,000 will be allotted for senior escort services, which will help those who are severely disabled get to their medical appointments and also improve their social interaction.
  • Breed said the investment will provide support “to those who need it, in the way that they are most likely to accept it.”

San Francisco Mayor London Breed has announced a proposal to invest $500,000 in expanding services for Asian crime victims, particularly those with limited proficiency in English.

The funding, in response to the city’s share of anti-Asian hate crimes, will mostly be dedicated to mental health support.

Nearly half of the budget ($240,000) will be used to fund trauma recovery clinical services in Cantonese for victims of serious violent crimes or the victims’ family members. It will also be used for training and technical assistance for community-based providers.

Meanwhile, $160,000 will go toward expanding community-based mental health services in Cantonese. Asian seniors targeted by hate crimes and hate incidents will be prioritized.

Finally, $59,000 will be allotted for senior escort services. These will help those who are severely disabled get to their medical appointments and also improve their social interaction.

Breed previously invested $3.2 million in victim services for the Asian American community. She also created a Community Liaison Unit (CLU) within the SFPD to ensure cultural and linguistic competency.

“As we’ve seen hate crimes play out in our city, our Police Department has responded to make arrests and hold people accountable,” Breed said in a news release. “And while accountability is critical in these cases, it also became clear in talking to many in the community that these victims also need mental health support, which can be difficult for those with language barriers.”

“Through this funding, we will be getting the support to those who need it, in the way that they are most likely to accept it — that is the key to a victim-centered system,” she added.

The city also has an ongoing fund of $2.6 million for multiracial safety walks staffed by the Street Violence Intervention Project (SVIP) and the Community Youth Center (CYC), which offers wraparound services to Asian victims with limited English. A $2.5 million investment for community-based victim services and a senior escort program led by Self Help for the Elderly is also underway to prevent violence.

Sarah Wan, executive director of the CYC, said culturally competent support is important now more than ever.

“During a time when our community is experiencing extreme stress, anxiety, and fear, supporting culturally competent and in-language support is more critical than ever,” Wan said. “We uplift any effort that not only destigmatizes but expands mental health services for our API community.”

She added, “Healing starts with an intentional effort to meet community members where they are and with respect for their culture. Investments in this work are pivotal as we recover from our collective trauma.”

 

Featured Image via Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

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