King County prepares to relocate Sobering Center/Emergency Services Patrol in 2019
The King County Sobering Support Center serves as a safe place for people to sleep off the acute effects of intoxication and connect to treatment services, housing assistance and other supports. The Sobering Center has been part of the community at its current location for more than 20 years. The Sobering Center is open 24/7 and serves up to 60 adults at a time. Also operating onsite is the King County Emergency Services Patrol, providing transport for individuals to and from the Sobering Center from locations in and around the downtown Seattle area, and the REACH homeless outreach team that works to engage persons experiencing homelessness and connect them to treatment and housing.
Why are the services moving?
The building where the Sobering Center is currently located has been sold and the center must move to a new location. A condition of the building sale required the building owner, Community Psychiatric Clinic (CPC) to purchase and provide a new location for the Sobering Center. CPC has purchased a new building in Georgetown to house the Sobering Center, the Emergency Services Patrol and the REACH homeless outreach team. The site will also house a clinic that will provide both health and behavioral health services.
Who is involved?
King County Behavioral Health and Recovery Division (BHRD) contracts for sobering services to strengthen the availability, quality and coordination of crisis services for homeless persons with chronic substance use disorders. Pioneer Human Services (PHS) provides these sobering and outpatient treatment service. Community Psychiatric Clinic will provide the behavioral health services onsite and the health clinic will be operated by Harborview Medical Center.
How can I learn more?
King County has participated in one meeting so far with the Georgetown Community and plans to join additional meetings in the Georgetown area to discuss any questions or concerns with residents and business owners. King County will also host meetings in addition to joining meetings of existing community groups in Georgetown.
Meeting dates and times will be noted on this page and sent to Georgetown Community Council leaders to assist in posting the information.
The ESP van provides transport to and from the center for clients. Bus tickets for Metro will be available. There are other possibilities that can and will be explored with King County Metro to try to mitigate transportation impact and hopefully improve the transportation outlook for the neighborhood. DCHS Director Leo Flor committed to engaging with Metro to discuss the transportation needs in the community.
King County is happy to arrange for community members to tour the current Sobering Center in South Lake Union to get a feel for how the facility is set up and how it operates. In addition, King County will set up an Open House type of event at the current Sobering Center and invite Georgetown community members to tour. Once that is scheduled, the day and time will be communicated to the Georgetown community.
As to touring the new building, CPC has a tight timeline for building renovations. King County and CPC work with that construction schedule to try to carve out time for a representative group to tour inside. Working with the construction leads will be key for safety. We will also hope to be able to share the renovation plans for the site at an upcoming community meeting.
A detox center provides effective detoxification programs and methods to assist those who suffer from drug or alcohol addiction in finding the strength to make their way through the withdrawal symptoms.
A sobering center provides a safe environment for publicly intoxicated individuals to sober up and, when appropriate, initiate recovery. It aims to enhance public health and public safety by providing an alternative to the streets, emergency rooms and jail.
This is a sobering center. Detox tends to involve a longer stay and uses medical staff and medications.