Los Angeles County opened its first sobering center on Skid Row Monday.
Located at 640 S. Maple Street in downtown Los Angeles, the center will primarily serve homeless, intoxicated people who might otherwise be taken to jail or an emergency room, NBC4’s media partner KPCC reports.
In the past, the Los Angeles Fire Department transported severely intoxicated individuals from Skid Row to the LAC+USC Medical Center. These first responders would watch over them until they were admitted to the hospital as patients, a process that could take several hours. During this time, they were unable to respond to other calls.
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The center will be open 24 hours a day and has the capacity to stabilize about 50 people at any given time.
Once they have sobered up, they will be linked to substance abuse treatments, housing and other services, LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said in a statement.