San Leandro is taking steps to improve conditions for its unhoused residents, recently forming a new partnership called San Leandro Safe that will combine efforts from the city’s Human Services Department, the police department, and the Alameda County Fire Department to provide mental health and homeless services.
The initiative will split human services from the city’s recreation division.
San Leandro Safe was formed after community feedback on how the city can better serve the most at-risk residents, an issue many cities across the nation are now trying to tackle with more trained health advocates rather than only police.
“The community’s voice has spoken and tirelessly advocated for effective front-line services when addressing the needs of our vulnerable unhoused population,” City Manager Fran Robustelli said, in a statement. “The police department is often stretched thin with daily field patrol responsibilities. They do not have the time or resources to ‘case manage’ complex personal needs and quality of life matters.
“Therefore, the three departments of fire, human services, and police will work as a unit on the daily human service needs of the community.”
The city appointed Kurry Foley to acting director of the now-standalone Human Services Department.
“I will continue the commitment to amplifying the voices of the most vulnerable in our community,” said Foley, who has worked for the city since 2014.