Tuesday 11/18 A Great Day

This past Tuesday, 3 exciting and important projects were approved by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. The first project was the Cordilleras Center redesign feasibility study. The study conducted over the past year lays out a new design to replace the existing facility, the process and timeline for the replacement facilities to be built and the cost for construction and operations. Cordilleras currently operates out of a facility built in 1952 for tuberculosis patients. In the late 1970s it was repurposed as a Mental Health Rehabilitation Center (MHRC) and Adult Residential Care Facility (ARF) for 117 adults living with a serious mental illness. The facility has clearly outlived its purpose and the programming which is significantly constrained because of the facility is not able to offer the kind of individualized treatment and support that we all envision. The new plan will have five 16 bed MHRC buildings that can provide evidence based and individualized care to those individuals requiring locked placements. And the ARF will provide first class living and recreational accommodations designed to enhance people’s process of recovery. As our County Manager, John Maltbie said at the Board meeting, “our clients deserve 21st century care and treatment in order to have a fulfilling life.”

The second project approved for funding was to start a Clubhouse for adults living with a serious mental illness. Clubhouse is a SAMSHA approved evidence based program and is operating in countries around the world. California Clubhouse will be a place where adults living with a serious mental illness can go every day during business hours to work on overcoming the obstacles they face by offering support, training, education, health social interactions and positive reinforcement through collegial relationships and work. I want to recognize Juliana Fuerbringer who is the visionary behind bringing this to San Mateo County. Juliana and her colleagues have done a tremendous amount of work and advocacy over the past 18 months. Adding the Clubhouse will offer more of our adult consumers with an opportunity to engage in meaningful activities.

The third project that was approved by the Board was for the Waverly St. apartment development led by Melissa Platte from the Mental Health Association of San Mateo. The Board approved the necessary zoning changes to allow this project, funded in part by Mental Health Services Act, to move forward. The project will be similar to the Cedar St. apartment and will certainly offer its residents the same high quality living environment and support.

Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard on all of these projects. Although there is much to be done to bring each to fruition we are excited with these opportunities. I also want to thank our Board of Supervisors and County Manager for their enthusiastic support for each one of these projects.

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