Oakland based healthcare companies – Blue Shield of California and Kaiser Permanente – today announced multi-million dollar donations to Governor Gavin Newsom’s new initiative to address homelessness and behavioral health challenges in California.
Blue Shield announced a $20 million contribution to the California Access to Housing and Services fund proposed by the Governor in his 2020-2021 budget. Kaiser announced a $26 million contribution.
The governor announced the fund last week to help solve the state’s homelessness crisis together with reforms to Medi-Cal to better integrate physical and behavioral health.
“Addressing homelessness is a key step in ensuring health and wellness for individuals and families,” said Paul Markovich, President & CEO, Blue Shield of California. “Our commitment to healthy families and healthy communities is at the core of our mission to transform our healthcare system into one that is worthy of our family and friends and sustainably affordable. We look forward to working with the governor to improve the quality of life for Californians and encourage others in the private sector to step up.”
“No one sector can solve the homelessness crisis alone. It’s our collective responsibility to meet this moment with bold action and intentional leadership – and that’s exactly what Blue Shield’s leadership is doing,” Gov. Newsom said. “Just days after I announced the creation of the California Access to Housing and Services fund, Blue Shield responded immediately by investing $20 million to help individuals experiencing homelessness across California gain access to housing and health services. I hope that Blue Shield’s generosity and compassion will serve as a model for others to follow.”
Blue Shield and Kaiser are two of the first companies to respond to the governor’s call for donations from philanthropy and the private sector to support initiatives such as additional affordable housing units, rent subsidies and supportive services for Californians in need.
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