Graham is the former CEO and president of El Camino Hospital, and spent four years in leadership positions at the The Queen's Health Systems in Hawaii before returning to the Bay Area in 2016. He took the interim job with MayView in January 2018 following reports that the nonprofit was in financial straits and hemorrhaging staff.
Since then, the network of three clinics — with locations in Mountain View, Palo Alto and Sunnyvale — has reportedly rebounded. Under Graham's leadership, MayView underwent a "rebuilding year" with an eye towards better salaries and working conditions for physicians along with shaping up for accreditations and license recertifications that shows MayView meets all the requirements to be a Federal Qualified Health Center.
The dire finances and staff turnover threatened to shutter one of the three clinic locations, which would've been a blow for thousands of patients. A majority of those served by MayView are either on Medi-Cal or are uninsured, and the largest share of the patients reside in Mountain View. The health center is also largely seen as the successor to Mountain View' RotaCare clinic, which closed down in 2016 and diverted patients to MayView.
Graham told the Voice in December that he was technically pulled out of retirement by taking on his role as Interim CEO. His decision to stick around in the permanent leadership role is a "significant development" for the clinic and the community, according to a statement by MayView officials, who credit him for doubling the medical staff while maintaining "superb financial performance."
"We look forward to remarkable success as we expand our presence within the not for profit health care sector," according to the statement.
Pot businesses line up to open in city
Ten cannabis businesses have filed applications seeking to open up shop in Mountain View, most of them in the last moments leading up to the Feb. 1 deadline.
Last year the city adopted a framework for a total of four businesses selling cannabis products to be allowed in the city's limits. Two of those businesses can be traditional storefront locations, while two must be "non-storefront," meaning they can operate in the city but cannot make retail sales on location.
The application process ran from Dec. 1 to Feb. 1, the first part of a lengthy review and approval process. Since there are 10 applicants, a lottery will be held to pick which four businesses move forward.
Details in the applications, including addresses, businesses names and proposed building and site modifications, were not immediately available for public review. When asked by the Voice for details on the applicants, city officials disclosed the name of one business — Northern Erudite Ventures, which seeks to open a business on 278 Castro Street.
Soon after the Adult Use of Marijuana Act passed in 2016, Mountain View City Council members made clear that they were willing to allow at least a few businesses to open in the city, voting on the zoning and permitting framework for the nascent industry in October. Neighboring cities have sought a permanent ban on pot businesses.
Although none of the applicants have been cleared to move forward — that process will take place in the coming months — Mountain View voters set the groundwork to make sure the city's future pot businesses pay local taxes. A 9 percent tax on all cannabis sales passed with more than 80 percent of the vote last November.
HUD funding to help homeless
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Jan. 26 awarded nearly $149 million for 193 previously funded homeless assistance programs in the nine-county Bay Area.
The funds provided through HUD's Continuum of Care Program total $381 million for 694 local programs in California.
San Jose, Santa Clara and Santa Clara County received $38.4 million for 27 projects. San Francisco received $40.7 million for 53 homeless projects, while Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda County received $33.5 million for 38 projects.
Other Bay Area awards include $15 million given to Richmond and Contra Costa County for 19 projects; $11.4 million to Daly City and San Mateo County for 15 projects; $4 million to Marin County for nine projects; $3.4 million to Santa Rosa, Petaluma and Sonoma County for 14 projects; $1.1 million to Vallejo and Solano County for 11 projects; and $718,000 to Napa and Napa County
for seven projects.
HUD's Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs awarded the funds immediately after the reopening of the federal government Friday, Jan. 25.
Continuum of Care funding supports interventions to assist homeless individuals and families living in areas not meant for habitation or who are at imminent risk of becoming homeless.
HUD has called for a shift in funds from underperforming projects to new ones that are based on the best practices to prevent and end homelessness.
HUD serves more than a million people a year through emergency shelter, transitional and permanent housing programs, HUD's San Francisco Regional Office spokesman Eduardo Cabrera said.
In December, local communities reported homelessness in the country remained largely unchanged in 2018, with nearly 553,000 people enduring homelessness on a single night in 2018.
On Wednesday, Jan. 30, Santa Clara, Alameda and Contra Costa counties conducted their homeless counts.
The number of homeless veterans across the country has declined 5.4 percent since January 2017 and by 49 percent since 2010, HUD officials said.
County volunteers conduct homeless census
About 500 people gathered in Palo Alto and other cities within Santa Clara County last week to conduct the biennial point-in-time count of homeless individuals.
The data is used to determine how much money the county needs to end a homelessness crisis in the region, and is organized by the county Office of Supportive Housing.
Continuum of Care manager Kathryn Kaminski said between 300 and 400 volunteers this year were joined by 100 guides, or individuals who work with homeless populations or have been recently homeless.
The count began at 4 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 29 and 30, in San Jose, Palo Alto, Gilroy and Mountain View. It's held early in the morning to include individuals in shelters before they are released for the day, and to ensure there isn't too much movement in and out of encampments.
Mayor Sam Liccardo attended the point-in-time count in San Jose and said the volunteer-based program is a vital census tool for determining resources throughout the year. According to Liccardo, law enforcement agencies stopped encampment sweeps in the recent weeks to ensure an accurate count.
"I'm grateful to the hundreds of volunteers who woke up before dawn to join us in this morning's biennial homeless count," Liccardo said in a Facebook post last Tuesday.
In late December, community members held a vigil for 157 homeless individuals who died in the county over the previous year. The numbers have steadily risen over the last decade, along with the homeless population. The 2017 point-in-time count found 7,394 unsheltered and sheltered homeless individuals.
This year's count will be combined with results from 900 surveys distributed by guides in the following weeks. The survey includes questions regarding how an individual became homeless, how long they've been living on the streets and the challenges they face in various settings.
Kaminski said the survey typically has a high response rate because it is distributed by paid volunteers who are either members of the homeless community, or those who conduct year-round outreach.
"They're already building those relationships," Kaminski said. "They're not just random volunteers who are doing the surveys."
The county will spend the next several months analyzing the data, ensuring there is no double-counting and will present the final report in late June.
—Bay City News Service
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