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Residential detox center could open in SLO in 2 years

Construction of the 40 Prado new homeless services center began last year. The site will also house a detox center.
Construction of the 40 Prado new homeless services center began last year. The site will also house a detox center. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

A residential detoxification center to treat adults with drug and alcohol addiction is on track to open in San Luis Obispo in two years, a program that both health and law enforcement officials say is overdue and sorely needed.

County supervisors and other leaders on Tuesday expressed their support for the center, including Sheriff Ian Parkinson who said “we have a tremendous need coming in and out of the jail all the time.”

“There is not a chief or law enforcement agency that is not in favor of moving forward with this,” Parkinson said.

Community Action Partnerships will build the treatment facility that can serve up to 10 people at a time at 40 Prado, the homeless services facility coming to south San Luis Obispo. Funding for construction will come from community philanthropists.

“Our community continues to struggle with opioid and other addictions with few options for treatment,” said CAPSLO Deputy Director Grace McIntosh. “This facility will fill a gap in our continuum of care and bring much-needed services to families struggling with addiction. The community came together to solve this long-standing problem.”

“No matter who you are or what your circumstances, all people deserve a chance at recovery,” McIntosh said.

County Behavioral Health has seen an increase in service need; they provided substance use disorder services to 2,269 adults in 2015 and to 2,500 adults in 2016.

About 2 percent of those assessed by the county are in need of a residential treatment level of care, and there just aren’t enough beds to serve the low-income clients in need. There are currently only five beds covered by Medi-Cal in the county, at Bryan’s House, which is limited to perinatal women and their children.

Men and women who cycle in and out of jail or fade in and out of homelessness — often due to addiction problems — are currently offered a patchwork of treatments.

“This facility will be able to provide an enhanced level of treatment for people who really need it that we don’t have here now,” said Anne Robin, behavioral health administrator.

Project backers expect the operational expenses, estimated to be around $1.2 million a year, will be covered by revenue associated from Medi-Cal reimbursements. Other funded sources could include Public Safety Realignment funds.

Monica Vaughan: 805-781-7930, @MonicaLVaughan

A groundbreaking was held for the Homeless Services Center at 40 Prado Road on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016. Construction on the new $5.4 million center — which consolidates the day and night services of the Prado Day Center and the Maxine Lewis Memori

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