Mayor Ed Lee wants supervisors to back off Care Not Cash measure 

Mayor Ed Lee wants five supervisors to back off a ballot measure that would eliminate shelter beds as a Care Not Cash benefit, which he said would dismantle the award winning program that helps fight homelessness.

Lee said Wednesday that he believes Care Not Cash is working and will try to get Supervisor Jane Kim and four other supervisors involved in a “rational discussion” to pull the measure.

“What I’m really concerned about is it’s less care and more cash out there and that doesn’t bode well for turning people’s lives around,” Lee said. “We need to have that discussion with the supervisors, and I’ll be talking with them about why they want to make that kind of change, especially with a program that actually really works.”

Proponents of the ballot measure told the Examiner on Tuesday that it would not dismantle Care Not Cash.

"It’s an amendment to both clarify and actually strengthen Care Not Cash. It’s not our intent to dismantle Care Not Cash by any means," Kim said. The other supervisors supporting the measure are Eric Mar, David Campos, John Avalos and Ross Mirkarimi.

Lee explained that eliminating homeless shelter beds as a benefit would be attacking the housing element of Care Not Cash. Proponents of the measure say a shelter bed shouldn’t be considered housing.

“I want to make sure our city is on the front burner of good practices, not one that would be giving a lot more cash to people who have shown they can’t really be responsible for that use,” Lee said. “They’re not in a condition to. It’s not their fault. They’re just not in a position to use that cash wisely.


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