Political campaign begins to preserve Care not Cash as is 

Mayor Ed Lee and others were quick to blast a proposal that would alter former Mayor Gavin Newsom’s legacy homeless program Care not Cash.

Five supervisors, Jane Kim, Ross Mirkarimi, John Avalos, David Campos and Eric Mar, put a measure on the ballot Tuesday that would eliminate shelter beds as a qualified benefit in the Care Not Cash program. General-assistance recipients receive $422 a month, but under the program, if they receive shelter beds, it decreases to $59.

The opposition to the proposal continues to mount. Political consultant Jim Ross has launched a website and will form a political campaign “shortly” to try and defeat the measure this November.

“We can’t let a few members of the Board repeal Care Not Cash and increase homelessness in San Francisco,” Ross said in an email announcing his effort.

Advocates of the proposal say the change will not harm Care not Cash, but improve it, as well as create more equity in The City’s shelter system. The current system, they say, prioritizes Care not Cash recipients, which leaves other homeless people, including seniors, veterans and the disabled, without access to shelter beds.

“By removing the shelter system from the available benefits provided to Care Not Cash recipients, we dismantle this path to getting people housing, ultimately undermining the success of this nationally recognized, award-winning program,” Lee said in a press release Tuesday.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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