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Blue Shield of California Commits $20 Million to Support Gov. Newsom’s Initiative to Tackle Homelessness, Behavioral Health Services

OAKLAND, Calif. (January 17, 2020) – Blue Shield of California today announced a $20 million contribution to the California Access to Housing and Services fund Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed in his 2020-2021 budget.

Paul Markovich Boardroom square
Paul Markovich

The governor announced the fund last week to help solve the state’s homelessness crisis together with reforms to Medi-Cal to better integrate physical and behavioral health.

Blue Shield is one of the first companies to respond to the governor’s call for donations from philanthropy and the private sector to support initiatives such as additional affordable housing units, rent subsidies and supportive services for Californians in need.

“Addressing homelessness is a key step in ensuring health and wellness for individuals and families,” said Paul Markovich, President & CEO, Blue Shield of California. “Our commitment to healthy families and healthy communities is at the core of our mission to transform our healthcare system into one that is worthy of our family and friends and sustainably affordable. We look forward to working with the governor to improve the quality of life for Californians and encourage others in the private sector to step up.”

“No one sector can solve the homelessness crisis alone. It’s our collective responsibility to meet this moment with bold action and intentional leadership – and that’s exactly what Blue Shield’s leadership is doing,” Gov. Newsom said. “Just days after I announced the creation of the California Access to Housing and Services fund, Blue Shield responded immediately by investing $20 million to help individuals experiencing homelessness across California gain access to housing and health services. I hope that Blue Shield’s generosity and compassion will serve as a model for others to follow.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom

Today’s announcement is the latest example of Blue Shield’s efforts to support communities in California. The nonprofit health plan through the Blue Shield of California Foundation has contributed more than $100 million in the past three years to help end the cycle of domestic violence and make California the healthiest state in the nation. Last month, Blue Shield also announced the Blue Shield of California BlueSky initiative, a statewide, multi-year effort to support mental health and resiliency for California students.

About Blue Shield of California
Blue Shield of California strives to create a health care system worthy of our family and friends that is sustainably affordable. We are a tax paying, not for profit, independent member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association with over 4 million members, 6,800 employees and more than $20 billion in annual revenue. Founded in 1939 in San Francisco and now headquartered in Oakland, Blue Shield of California and its affiliates provide health, dental, vision, Medicaid and Medicare health care service plans in California. The company has contributed more than $500 million to Blue Shield of California Foundation since 2002 to have an impact on California communities.

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