Laguna Honda Hospital

Mark Chambers, Woodrow Falls, Jr., M.H., Phillip K., Gerald Scott, Mary T., and The Independent Living Resource Center of San Francisco, et. al. vs. City and County of San Francisco

In 2006, six residents of Laguna Honda Hospital, joined by the Independent Living Resource Center (ILRCSF) in San Francisco, filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court to challenge San Francisco’s discriminatory actions resulting in their unnecessary confinement at Laguna Honda Hospital, a more than 1,000 – bed nursing facility owned and operated by the City. The suite alleged that the plaintiffs were capable of, and would prefer to live in their own homes or in the community. In September 2008, Judge William Alsup approved a settlement that greatly increased community-based housing, service options and coordination of care.

Among its many provisions, the agreement created an innovative program to coordinate services across city departments, enabling San Franciscans with disabilities who live at, or are referred to, Laguna Honda, to instead receive community-based housing and services. Eligible individuals will be assessed for, referred to, and provided with subsidized housing, attendant and nursing care, case management, substance abuse treatment, mental health services, and assistance with meals.

In addition, several hundred Medi-Cal Home and Community-Based waiver slots, which allow people to receive long-term health care in their homes instead of in institutions, will be made available to those who qualify. These waivers should bring millions of dollars in federal and state Medicaid funding to San Francisco.

The Agreement also calls for the development of a rental subsidy program, through which San Francisco will secure and subsidize scattered-site, accessible, independent housing for approximately 500 people with disabilities and seniors who are eligible for community-based services.