Thank you to everyone who participated in the Santa Barbara County budget process. Some of you attended the hearings, spoke, made calls, or wrote letters. Your efforts were important.

Propay, which serves Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services clients who cannot manage their funds due to mental illness, was saved. The Human Services Commission, which funds non-profits with programs designed to help the poorest and most vulnerable with basics like food and shelter, was also saved.

However, not one of the Santa Barbara County Supervisors spoke for CARES (Crisis and Recovery Emergency Services). They are planning on eliminating two part-time psychiatrists and $80K in medications for the indigent, dually-diagnosed mentally ill. By doing this, the Supervisors put some of our highest-need people as their lowest priority. Stigma still exists in a very blatant form.

Please write to your Board of Supervisors in regard to this horrible decision.

Darla Kaiser is the executive director of the Community Advocacy Coalition

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