In news that can only be described as disgusting and atrocious, a state psychiatric facility in Nevada sent homeless individuals suffering from a variety of mental illnesses onto buses with one-way tickets, telling them to seek treatment in other states.
Patients were said to be given three days worth of medicine, some snacks and a one-way ticket to whichever state they were being sent to. States in which many of the patients had no friends or family.
Well, the city of San Francisco is suing Nevada for $500,000 in funds it claims to have spent housing and treating some of these patients.
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said, “Homeless, psychiatric patients are especially vulnerable to the kind of practices Nevada engaged in, and the lawsuit I’ve filed today is about more than just compensation. It’s about accountability.”
Nevada officials have responded by saying that they wouldn’t reimburse the city because — it has failed to demonstrate appropriate standing to represent the patients.
Yes, Nevada officials are saying they don’t owe the city anything because San Francisco hasn’t demonstrated that it did all it could to properly represent the patients Nevada sent on a one-way bus trip to California.
The state is claiming it simply didn’t have the funds to continue treating the patients, and they would have “better luck” seeking treatment in other states.
This situation is absolutely reprehensible. Maybe if Nevada (controlled by a Republican governor) hadn’t made the fifth-largest cuts of any state to mental health treatment, it wouldn’t have lacked the funds to treat mentally ill patients?
Even worse is the absolute lack of accountability Nevada shows by trying to say that they owe San Francisco nothing because that city hasn’t shown that the individuals have been properly cared for. Excuse me? I don’t think “proper care” for mentally ill individuals involves sending them on buses to states they’ve never been to with nothing but some snacks and well wishes.
And while the governor has pledged to spend more caring for the state’s mentally ill, it doesn’t make up for the deplorable actions of sending these kinds of people on one-way trips, to states in which they had no family or friends, just to seemingly “rid” them of having to financially support them.
It’s one thing to cut funding and release people who need help onto your own streets. While disgusting, it’s not something that would be “shocking” coming from Republicans and how they view people who need help — and quite frankly, it goes on all the time.
But for them to go out of their way to pawn these people off on other states — and then deny any responsibility for them afterward — that’s a whole other level of disgusting behavior. Nevada’s actions are not only embarrassing—they should be criminal.