San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced a proposal Thursday to increase funding by $500,000 for services to Asian victims of crime who are limited in their English proficiency.
Breed said in a press release that while accountability and arrests are important in dealing with hate crimes, the victims also need mental health support, which can be difficult for those with language barriers.
The proposed funding would get support to those who need it in a way they can accept and understand it.
The investment would be split between three categories of services. Nearly half of the investment is dedicated to trauma recovery clinical services in Cantonese as well as training and technical assistance for community-based providers.
The proposal would allot $160,000 to expand community-based mental health services in Cantonese. The goal is to aid Asian seniors with mental health support as part of their recovery.
Another $59,000 will go to senior escort services citywide to help disabled people get to medical appointments and increase social interaction.
Christina Shea, deputy chief and director of clinical services at Richmond Area Multi-Services, a non-profit mental health organization, said this new funding would allow them to hire clinical staff who can provide linguistically and culturally relevant counseling.
"Without language and culture, it's almost impossible to connect with somebody who is in distress," Shea said. "If you cannot communicate with a victim of a crime, you cannot even begin to support and understand where they are at."
Breed has invested in several other victim services citywide, including creating a Community Liaison Unit within the San Francisco Police Department to ensure cultural and linguistic competency and investing $3.2 million in wraparound victim services for the Asian and Pacific Islander community.