East Bay Times Opinion: AB 1250 is a vivid lesson in unintended consequences

Op-Ed in East Bay Times

By DAN GEIGER AND JANE FISCHBERG  |

August 30, 2017 at 12:10 pm

In government, good intentions frequently have unintended consequences. Unfortunately, many of these unintended consequences can have irreversible impacts, costing lives, chilling innovation and disintegrating community institutions that have reliably served our neighbors for decades.

That’s the case with AB 1250. This legislation has a purportedly noble goal: to protect employment security for public employees.  But in actuality, it constructs an elaborate system that locks out the nonprofits and medical specialists that ensure that some of our community’s most vulnerable residents receive care.

The bill would require all county contractors — many of whom are nonprofit Community Benefit Organizations (CBOs) — to spend a significant portion of their modest budgets on expensive audits, burdensome paperwork and administrative overhead.

In the short run, this would divert critical resources from vital services.

In the long run, it could force hundreds of community organizations to shut their doors, leaving tens of thousands of people with limited resources — including survivors of domestic violence, those living with mental illness and families who are homeless — out in the cold.

Almost 65 percent of Contra Costa County’s mental health services are contracted out to provide much-needed additional capacity to the county’s health delivery system. Partnerships between these organizations and the Health Services Department ensure that residents benefit from the cultural responsiveness, expertise and skill they have to offer, while remaining flexible enough to continually innovate and improve their practices.

Outside contracting is particularly necessary in situations where labor is scarce and few people have hyper-specialized expertise. If a disease is relatively rare, why have the county hospital hire a full-time doctor just to serve a handful of people? It makes much more economic sense for a few counties to contract one shared doctor to serve an entire region.

AB 1250 would make it cost prohibitive for a doctor or health group to choose that arrangement. On top of that, there are many emergency services that must be contracted out to protect public safety. The simple truth is that no health department can employ enough professionals to staff and manage the entire system on its own.

Other organizations, such as Rubicon Programs in the counties of Contra Costa and Alameda, deliver services that help the unemployed find jobs. Due to its nonprofit status, Rubicon is able to pool varying sources of funding to maximize its impact. It also can build close, active partnerships between local businesses and community groups, allowing them to develop comprehensive supports that help individuals find a job, establish a career and achieve economic mobility. This holistic, hands-on approach is not one that a government agency could manage effectively.

It all comes down to this: AB 1250 is an existential threat to our local health care delivery systems. It’s a one-size-fits-all policy that solves no real problems and creates new ones.

The 21 members of the Human Services Alliance of Contra Costa – in partnership with the county – serve more than 360,000 residents. Millions more are served in Alameda, San Francisco and across the state. These organizations already face potential cutbacks instituted by the federal government. They cannot afford to further jeopardize their ability to provide high-quality services.

No one wins when you decrease quality and access to services.

We urge you to contact your State Sens. Nancy Skinner, Bob Wieckowski, Bill Dodd and Steve Glazer. Ask them to vote no on AB 1250.

Dan Geiger is the director of the Human Services Alliance of Contra Costa. Jane Fischberg is the president and CEO of Rubicon Programs, a nonprofit serving Contra Costa and Alameda counties. 

Contra Costa Interfaith Housing Seeks Lakeside Case Manager

Contra Costa Interfaith Housing (CCIH) is seeking a Case Manager (CM) to provide vital support services, to families living at an apartment complex in Concord. Support services will include information and referral, coordination, and implementation of health, educational, employment and parenting services to support residents’ highest level of self-sufficiency and health. The CM will work with a youth enrichment coordinator to serve the needs of families living at the apartment complex. The CM will also help plan and oversee social/educational activities at these sites, attend community meetings, and form collaborative relationships with service providers in Central Contra Costa County.

Applicants with case management experience working with low-income families who have multiple challenges, familiarity with Contra Costa resources and communities, and competency working with culturally diverse populations are encouraged to apply.  Bi-lingual in English and Spanish required.

CCIH is a vibrant and socially responsive non-profit agency which provides permanent housing and vital support services to approximately 1,000 people in Contra Costa County who are homeless or are at-risk for homelessness. Over 35 faith-based communities support our work, although there are no religious requirements or affiliations required to receive services.

This will be a 40 hour per week, hourly position; some evening and weekend hours may be required.

Essential Job Functions:

1. Maintain well-defined linkages and working relationships with service providers in the Contra Costa County area that assist residents.  Essential services include but are not limited to:

  • Health care (including HIV/AIDS services),
  • Education and employment development,
  • Children’s services such as after school programs, tutoring, child care, medical and mental health resources,
  • Housing retention services
  • Child and family support services including educational, recreational, financial, employment, medical and mental health resources. 
  • Alcohol and other drug addiction prevention services
  • Food Resources

2. Work closely with the service team and with John Stewart property management to support residents to overcome issues that may place them at risk for eviction.  These issues may be related to:

  • behavioral issues,
  • financial problems, or
  • various challenges that affect the resident’s ability to abide by their lease agreement/rules of tenancy.

3. Develop tenant engagement and community development strategies, in conjunction with the service team, that encourage tenants to take advantage of services and programs available to them.

4. Provide case management services to residents in need.  Case management services include:

·      intake assessment, including need specific goals

·      service coordination,

·      follow-up

·      support, and

·      advocacy as needed.

5. Provide an information and referral service for residents in need of special services with follow-up to ensure that access to those services was achieved.

6. Maintain tenant files and documentation in accordance to CCIH policies and procedures.

7. In collaboration with the Director of Outreach, the Family Services Manager, and the Youth Enrichment Coordinator, provide on-site educational forums and activities for the residents, as agreed upon by the service team.

8. In collaboration with the Youth Enrichment Coordinator, developa coordinated approach to addressing the needs of families and youth that are on your case load.

9. Provide timely reports to Resources for Community Development (RCD) per the request of RCD Director of Resident Services. 

10. Supervise volunteers as needed.  .

11. Represent CCIH at service related meetings as directed by the CCIH Executive Director and the Family Services Manager..

12. Ensure the highest degree of professionalism and quality practice in rendering services to tenants served by CCIH.  This includes quality assurance evaluation, action plans, and expansion of services as deemed appropriate to meet tenant needs.

13. Assist the outreach and development team with community outreach and fundraising for support services.

14. All other appropriate duties as needed and determined by the service teams and Family Services Manager..

Position Qualifications:

·      Bilingual: English and Spanish

·      Bachelor’s degree in social service field or comparable work experience. 

·      At least 2 years’ experience working with high risk families.

·      Outstanding written and verbal communication skills.

·      Computer proficiency in the use of Microsoft, and database applications.

Physical Requirements:

·      Ability to walk up and down stairs and up to ½ mile at any one time.

·      Ability to sit for up to 2 hours without a break.

·      Ability to perform repetitive movements, such as typing and filing, and use of commonly used office machines and supplies.

·      Ability to lift and move up to 25 pounds.

·      Ability to speak on the telephone for up to 3 hours

Must have an operational vehicle, auto insurance, and valid driver’s license. 

Salary is contingent upon skill and experience. This position offers health care insurance and generous paid time off benefits.

Contra Costa Interfaith Housing does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ancestry, religious creed, national origin, ethnicity, gender, age, marital status, disability, medical condition, or sexual orientation.  Minorities/Consumers/Ex-Consumers are encouraged to apply.

CCIH believes in and complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Please do not call – only information submitted by email will be considered. Email resume and cover letter (with “Lakeside Case Manager” in the email subject heading) to faye@ccinterfaithhousing.org

East Bay Times Opposes AB 1250

By EAST BAY TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD |

PUBLISHED: July 24, 2017 at 6:00 am | UPDATED: July 24, 2017 at 2:17 pm

An insidious bill concocted by public employee labor unions would undermine the ability of California counties to provide services for the state’s neediest residents.

The bill presents one of the biggest threats to local government finances since state lawmakers nearly two decades ago opened the door to unaffordable pension increases that have buried cities and counties in debt.

AB 1250 would make it costlier and in many cases nearly impossible for counties to contract out for vital services. Instead, they would have to stop providing the services or, as union leaders hope, hire permanent county workers, replete with their costly retirement benefits.

Counties are already struggling to stretch limited funds, often relying on non-profits to more efficiently and often more effectively provide critical services.

The bill would undermine those efforts, impairing services like counseling for sex trafficking and domestic violence victims; outreach and shelters for the homeless; mental health services; HIV counseling; and basic medical care.

It would also hinder a county’s ability to hire, for example, financial, planning and environmental consultants, outside legal advisers, specialty-care doctors and private ambulance providers.

Exactly how devastating the bill would be is hard to gauge because it is riddled with vague and conflicting language that would require years of costly litigation to untangle, as a legal analysis for the counties points out.

We warned you in April about the bill, introduced by Assemblyman Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles, a former local vice president for the Service Employees International Union, the political force behind the legislation.

The bill originally also covered cities, but they were removed before AB 1250 passed the Assembly in June. This month, the bill cleared the Senate Governance and Finance Committee.

Along the way, Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, jumped on board as a co-author — even though his own county’s leaders oppose the legislation, as do 48 other counties, including Contra Costa.

One outlier is Santa Clara County, where the labor-friendly Board of Supervisors has yet to take a position and County Administrator Jeff Smith has cut his own side deal with SEIU.

As a result, the bill is to be amended to exempt that county’s health services department from the legislation’s onerous requirements. There is no rational reason Santa Clara should be omitted while struggling programs in other counties would be saddled with the provisions of AB 1250.

Backers claim the bill would be a cost-savings measure because it would bar counties from contracting for services when they could be more cheaply provided in-house.

But the proposed requirements for making the cost-savings comparisons are designed to skew the results against using private and non-profit firms for services. As just one of many examples, the comparison would exclude a county’s overhead costs, but include the overhead of the outside firm.

The irony is that county workers, will eventually suffer too, if AB 1250 passes. Many of these services are mandated under state law. If costs go up, the counties will have to cut workers elsewhere.

 

Contra Costa Interfaith Housing Seeks Property Manager

 Property Manager

Scattered Site Supportive Housing Program

Contra Costa Interfaith Housing

 Contra Costa Interfaith Housing (CCIH) is seeking a Property Manager to provide comprehensive property management services to residents placed in scattered site housing across Contra Costa County. CCIH is a vibrant and socially responsive non-profit agency which provides permanent housing and vital support services to approximately 800 people in Contra Costa County who are homeless or are at-risk for homelessness. Over 35 faith-based communities support our work, although there are no religious requirements or affiliations required to receive services.

 The SSSHP Property Manager manages and tracks all new property acquisitions from start to finish, maintains all property contractual obligations, assists in the development of grants and proposals, and manages all related HUD activities. The SSSHP Property Manager also provides back-up assistance to the Families in Supportive Housing (FISH) Property Manager.

This is a ¾ time to full-time, non-exempt position; some evening and weekend hours may be required.

Specific Responsibilities:

1.     Calculate resident rents and update per HUD requirements.

2.     Manage resident complaints and payment issues.

3.     Ensure timely and high quality maintenance of all SSSHP units.

4.     Collaborate closely with SSSHP service team to support residents to overcome issues that may place them at risk for eviction, including but not limited to: behavioral issues, mental health problems or physical limitations that affect their ability to abide by lease agreements/rules of residency.

5.     Encourage residents to take advantage of services and programs available to them.

6.     Conduct resident re-certifications and prepare verification paperwork as needed.

7.     Meet with property owners to develop and complete new leases.

8.     Maintain contact with all property owners providing housing for program.

9.     Procure janitorial, general contractor, trade and landscape professionals to complete necessary maintenance/monthly service and/or construction/repair/rehabilitation jobs in a timely manner.

10.  Maintain contact with all housing applicants and work collaboratively with the Director of Operations and direct service staff to manage the assessment and intake process for housing applicants.

11.  Maintain familiarity with entire resident caseload of Scattered Site Supportive Housing Program, as well as with resident caseload of FISH Program.

12.  Manage budgets/contracts and coordinate reimbursements of authorized expenditures. Maintain awareness of separate budget timelines and requirements for each program funding source.

13.  Work with Controller and Director of Operations on management of grant funds received for projects and oversee the spending down of funds.

14.  Assist with the preparation of proposals and grant applications.

15.  Assist in completion of HUD monthly financial reports, billings and correspondence.

16.  Update Controller on financial matters regarding monies received and to be spent for maintenance, repair/rehabilitation, insurance claims and reports as needed.

17.  Maintain knowledge of and compliance with HUD regulations.

18.  Attend all required meetings, including but not limited to: CCIH staff meetings, Scattered Site Supportive Housing Team meetings, consumer case conferences, and linkage meetings with other agencies.

19.  Attend program development meetings with Director of Operations.

20.  Interface and integrate efficiently with CCIH management, service providers, and residents.

21.  Represent CCIH in a professional manner in all circumstances.

22.  Maintain awareness of culturally diverse consumer populations and perform duties in a culturally competent manner.

23.  On-call, after hours, and backup work may be required.

24.  Assure compliance with policies, procedures, standards of practice, and outcome requirements for the Scattered Site Supportive Housing Program as well as local, state and federal regulations pertaining to resident rights.

25.  Assure compliance with all legal/ethical professional guidelines for maintaining consumer confidentiality, protecting consumer rights, advocating on consumers’ behalf, and assuring consumer safety.

26.  Assure compliance with all local, state and federal regulations as well as with CCIH Policies and Procedures.

27.  Complete required personnel-related paperwork and complete expenditure reports for food supplies, petty cash expenses and/or mileage in a timely and accurate manner.

28.  Perform other duties and responsibilities as assigned.

Qualifications:

The SSSH Program Property Manager will have an AA or AS degree in Business or field applicable to property management and/or minimum 2 years’ experience in property management. Must have demonstrated knowledge of property management including tenant certifications. Experience working with low-income, homeless and at-risk individuals preferred. Must have HUD Certified Professional Occupancy Certification and/or strong experience working with HUD-funded properties. Willingness to work flexible hours, excellent communication and time management skills are required. Bi-lingual in English/Spanish a plus.

Other Requirements:

·      Ability to walk up and down stairs and up to ½ mile at any one time.

·      Ability to sit for up to 2 hours without a break.

·      Ability to perform repetitive movements, such as typing and filing, and use of commonly used office machines and supplies.

·      Ability to lift and move up to 25 pounds.

·      Ability to speak on the telephone for up to 3 hours

·      Ability to drive an automobile and transport oneself between meetings, including driving at night.

·      Must pass LiveScan screening and TB test.

Salary is contingent upon skill and experience. This position offers health care insurance and generous paid time off benefits.

Contra Costa Interfaith Housing does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ancestry, religious creed, national origin, ethnicity, gender, age, marital status, disability, medical condition, or sexual orientation. CCIH believes in and complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Please do not call – only applications submitted online (SmartRecruiters) or via email (bill@ccinterfaithhousing.org) will be considered.

Youth Homes Seeks Director of Residential Services

Director of Residential Services

This is a newly created position designed to meet the needs of a dynamic and changing environment for providers of residential services. 

ABOUT YOUTH HOMES

Established in 1965 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Youth Homes has operated continuously in Contra Costa County for over 50 years, serving the needs of abused and neglected children and adolescents in California's San Francisco Bay Area. Our Mission is to provide a safe place for foster youth to heal and grow. Our Vision is a world where former foster kids lead healthy, productive and whole lives. Youth Homes programs serve over 600 children and family members each year providing residential and mental health services through varied and growing programs. They include but are not limited four treatment homes, therapeutic behavior services, intensive treatment foster care, aftercare, and other community based services for transition age youth and young adults. 

In 2014, Youth Homes was proud to achieve national Accreditation through COA (Council on Accreditation), highlighting a continued commitment to providing high quality services and programs. The Agency is also honored to have been named one of the Top 100 Places to Work in the Bay Area several years in a row!

Do you have?

  • Have a knack for building strong and diverse teams
  • Able to break down silos and enjoy developing centralized processes 
  • Understand the balance of the clinical and non-clinical components of residential treatment - promoting a "win-win" model for problem solving
  • Believe in resiliency and positive outcomes for youth
  • Enjoy being both a hands-on and visionary leader
  • Have a strong residential and/or clinical background
  • Are solution focused and willing to work in a challenging, high energy, yet fun environment

Do you meet these requirements?? 

  • Must be 21 years of age (licensing requirement).
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, or related field, from accredited university or college. Master degree preferred with clinical experience
  • Minimum 7 years of experience in working with children and families, clinical experience is preferred
  • Minimum 3 years of increasing supervisory and administrative responsibility and/or extensive experience in children services 
  • STRTP Administrator Certification (must have ability to acquire within 90 days of holding position)
  • Individuals with experience in the clinical field, and knowledge to compensate for lack of an advanced degree or post-graduate experience, will be considered
  • Possess a CA driver’s license, with no restrictions
  • Must have strong computer skills with knowledge of Outlook, Microsoft Office software (i.e. Word, PowerPoint, Excel). Experience with Electronic Health Records is desired

And most importantly, are you:

  • A collaborative, team player with outstanding interpersonal and communication skills

Applicants should send a resume and cover letter describing their qualifications and interest in the position to joinus@youthhomes.org. No calls please.