A groundbreaking initiative has been launched in Prince George, British Columbia with the opening of a state-of-the-art sobering centre. The new centre, located at 1133 Second Ave, is a collaboration between Carrier Sekani Family Services, the province, and Northern Health. The need for such services close to home has been echoed by Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, who emphasizes that accessibility is key to saving lives and ensuring the community’s safety.
This innovative 10-bed facility offers a safe haven for individuals aged 18 and above who find themselves in a vulnerable state due to intoxication from alcohol and/or other substances. The aim is to provide a supportive environment to those who are unable to care for themselves in their current state. Referrals can be made by individuals themselves or by concerned family members, supportive care persons, healthcare providers, emergency services, or other community partners.
Travis Holyk, executive director of health with Carrier Sekani Family Services, underscores the importance of the newly established sobering centre, labeling it an essential component of comprehensive care for vulnerable members of the community. The centre currently operates from Thursday to Sunday, offering support overnight for its clients. Services will gradually expand to be available seven days a week, 24 hours a day, and will include referral to community resources, access to laundry facilities, provision of snacks, and a safe space for sleep.
According to Ciro Panessa, president and CEO of Northern Health, the implementation of the sobering centre fills a vital gap in the North’s service offerings for individuals facing substance-use challenges. The partnership between the Province, Northern Health, and Carrier Sekani Family Services has been crucial in bringing this project to fruition.
The facility’s funding, amounting to $1.8 million over three years, has been graciously provided by the province as part of its ongoing commitment to mental health and substance-use services. This investment reflects the government’s dedication to improving the well-being and support networks available to the community.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: Who can refer someone to the Prince George Sobering Centre?
A: Referrals can come from the individuals themselves or from family members, supportive care persons, healthcare providers, emergency services, and other community partners.
Q: What types of services does the sobering centre offer?
A: The centre currently provides a safe space to sleep and access to snacks. Over time, support services such as referral to community resources and access to laundry facilities will also be made available, eventually offering round-the-clock services.
Q: How is the sobering centre funded?
A: The province has allocated $1.8 million over three years to fund the facility as part of its commitment to substance-use and treatment services.