SAN FRANCISCO, June 23 (Xinhua) -- U.S. San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Thursday announced the opening of the city's first drug sobering center.
The SoMa RISE (Recover, Initiate, Support, and Engagement) Center in the South of Market neighborhood, is a safe indoor space for people who are intoxicated with opioids, methamphetamines, or other substances to come in off the streets, rest and stabilize, and get connected to care and services, the announcement said.
The South of Market and Tenderloin neighborhoods have the city's highest overdose rates, predominantly among individuals who are experiencing homelessness.
SoMa RISE is part of the city's response to the drug overdose crisis and aims to save lives from overdose deaths and reduce public drug use, while prioritizing support for people experiencing homelessness who have substance use dependency.
The center will support up to 20 participants at a time with some flexibility. Most individuals seeking care are anticipated to stay 4 to 12 hours, during which time they can rest, stabilize, and access basic services like bathrooms, showers, beds, and a meal, according to the announcement.
"Our city is experiencing a substance use and mental health crisis that is sadly affecting far too many residents," said Breed. "The opening of the SoMa RISE Center will not only provide a safe space for individuals in need, but it brings us one step closer to making a difference in these people's lives and the lives of all San Franciscans." ■