An innovative center where people intoxicated on alcohol or drugs can find quiet respite, medical supervision and a counselor to talk to will receive another $1.3 million from the City of Sacramento after the Council voted Tuesday to continue funding the program.
The money will fund operations at the SURE Center for the next six months. Opened in October 2020, the Substance Abuse Respite and Engagement Program ( SURE) was started to reduce the risk of people contracting and spreading Covid-19.
It provides a safe space in its facility at Seventh and H streets in downtown Sacramento for people to recover from acute intoxication. It is run by WellSpace Health and has been funded by the City and Sacramento County. Admission is strictly voluntary. In its first year, the SURE Center served 457 patients. Nearly half were intoxicated on alcohol, and 29 percent on methamphetamine.
Following system innovations with Sacramento County in early 2021, SURE successfully referred 20 percent of all of its patients into substance use disorder programs., including 22 percent of patients whose primary intoxicant was methamphetamines.
“The SURE Center is the most important program we have to deal with addiction issues facing the homeless,” said Councilmember Jeff Harris, who was instrumental in its creation. “Congratulations to WellSpace on their good work.”
Referrals to the program come from the City’s Department of Community Response in collaboration with the Sacramento Police Department, Sacramento Fire Department, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, Sacramento County Probation Department and other service partners.
“The SURE Center is an essential part of our strategy to address chronic homelessness,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg, whose office was also involved in the creation of the center. “Drug addiction, especially meth addiction, is a tragic and horrible reality. The SURE Center will save lives.”