California’s Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities are trying to process and heal from the tragedies of Half Moon Bay and Monterey Park. On top of that, they are still dealing with the hate incidents against AAPIs over the last three years brought on by COVID. All of these incidents have highlighted the lack of resources available to AAPIs and the need for greater state investment.
In an effort to address the continuing crisis in AAPI communities, Assembly Budget Chair Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) today announced $6.5 million from the state budget for Richmond Area Multi-Services Inc. (RAMS). The funding allows the nonprofit to pursue a permanent space that will centralize their outpatient clinic and wellness centers into one location. Among the culturally competent programs they offer, RAMS specializes in mental health services.
“The violence and trauma experienced by our AAPI communities over the last few years are more than any community should ever have to go through,” said Ting. “State investment is needed in order for our community to move forward, and because RAMS has a strong record of community-based, culturally sensitive care in my district, I trust they can meet the moment.”
“RAMS provides critical support to our most vulnerable community by creating access to linguistically appropriate mental health and wellness services especially for AAPI Seniors, many of whom are monolingual," said Supervisor Connie Chan. "This is why I have supported and connected RAMS with Assemblymember Ting’s office. I am grateful for his fierce advocacy for San Franciscans and the Richmond District, making this important space a reality.”
Founded in San Francisco’s Richmond District in 1974, RAMS fills the gap often not adequately addressed by larger health systems. They operate eleven core programs, serving 18,000 local clients a year in more than 30 languages. While mental health is the centerpiece of their care, they aim to meet the communities’ social, vocational and educational needs as well. The organization hopes to stay in the neighborhood.
“As a provider of mental health services in the Richmond District for nearly 50 years, RAMS, Inc. is honored to receive this state funding. It will allow us to continue being here for our neighbors, which helps build stronger communities,” said RAMS Chief Executive Officer JayVon Muhammad. “We thank Assemblymember Ting for being our champion in Sacramento.”
Ting has been a leader in helping to meet the needs of California AAPIs at the state level. As Assembly Budget Chair, he fought for the $200 million AAPI Equity Budgets over the last two years and for additional investments throughout the City and his district to strengthen cultural resources.
RAMS hopes to finalize the purchase of a new location by the end of the year.