Letters to the Editor

More help, not less

I was glad to read in your article of Feb. 19 about Mayor Alan Autry's plan to seek state and federal money to help with the problem of the homeless mentally ill here in our city. His timing is great because the governor's budget proposal cuts all funding for the AB 2034 Homeless Mentally Ill program.

This program has been operating here in Fresno for several years now with great results. For the most recent report period (December 2006), data shows that for persons enrolled in this program, homelessness was reduced by 78%, incarceration was reduced by 61% and hospitalization due to mental illness was reduced by 95%.

Fresno County intended to expand this program, but now that is at risk too because of the governor's proposal. The mayor is right: We need more help for the homeless mentally ill, not less. I would suggest that he and others let the governor and our legislators know that this is true in Fresno.

Curtis A. Thornton