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    PRC and Beyond

    By Brett Andrews–

    I so very much enjoy writing. It is an opportunity for me to reflect, order and quiet my mind, to share observations, and express my thoughts and ideas that may also be of interest to others. This month, PRC will come together at our annual gala—Mighty Real—to recognize the important work we do daily, and to celebrate the successes of our clients. So, rather than opining on the happenings of the day, I am taking the literary license to share some of the great achievements that PRC has had over the past year.

    I often say to my board and staff, “PRC is again having another extraordinary year.” Well, this year, it could not be more true. Against the challenge and stark reality of our homeless issues and the mental health and substance use crises, we at PRC are proud to report that 267 individuals, who in some fashion struggle with these conditions, have a bed to lie in through PRC’s treatment and supportive housing programs. Whether you are in one of our 10 transitional treatment programs or are living in one of our 20 supportive housing units, you are off the streets, you are safe, and you are working hard to rebuild your life.

    During this same time last year, we contemplated plans to expand from 15–29 beds the unique Hummingbird Place, our behavioral health respite program at Zuckerberg General Hospital, carried out in partnership with the City of San Francisco. I’m pleased to share that we achieved our goal in January of this year. As you may know, another planned expansion has been in the news recently. What is important to know is that the efficacy and efficiency of the model has been stellar; it is the strategy of how best to expand it that is in question.

    Also, at this same time last year, PRC had just identified our new home at 170 9th Street (between Mission and Howard). I am thrilled that we completed our full head to toe renovation, and moved into our new home on April 1 of this year. If you’re in the neighborhood, we invite you to stop by our new Integrated Service Center, which houses our workforce development, legal advocacy, and emergency financial assistance programs.

    This past June, PRC was presented an opportunity to purchase one of our program sites—2157 Grove Street. It is a beautiful Edwardian built in 1914. This 9-bed, duel diagnosis, mental health and substance use program is crucially important to San Francisco, as it is the only community-based, 60-day crisis stabilization program in the City. In partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development and the Department of Public Health, we are currently in contract and set to close on the property by the end of this year, thus growing our ability to serve San Francisco residents who need us most.

    Through PRC’s wrap-around services to our clients—Legal Advocacy, Workforce Development and Emergency Financial Assistance—we continue to play a significant role in the Getting to Zero Initiative. An HIV Epidemiology report was recently released, and this past year, for the first time, San Francisco reported under 200 new HIV infections. It’s clear that our combined community strategies are working.

    As I am reminded daily, none of this extraordinary work could be accomplished without the triad of our committed and dedicated PRC staff, Board of Directors, and volunteers. I want to thank them and all who have supported PRC over the years—for their unwavering commitment to our mission and for believing that everyone deserves an advocate and an opportunity.

    Leading PRC since 2003, Brett Andrews has overseen PRC’s evolution from a small HIV/AIDS legal service agency to an integrated social and behavioral health provider bent on fighting poverty, stigma and isolation by uplifting marginalized adults and affecting the social conditions of health. He holds an M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from George Washington University, received the San Francisco Pride Celebration’s Heritage Award for 10+ years of service in 2017, and was appointed to the San Francisco Mayor’s Methamphetamine Task Force.