The Los Angeles Fire Department has begun picking up heavily intoxicated homeless people from LA's streets.
The new "sober unit," which operates out of Fire Station 4 on Temple Street near Skid Row, will serve as a year-long pilot program to see if the city might benefit from a "network of sobering centers and pick-up teams for inebriated homeless people," NBC4 media partner KPCC reports.
The program's aim is twofold: free up firefighters who spend too much time responding to calls about intoxicated homeless people, and reduce the number of drug and alcohol-addicted homeless people in emergency rooms and jails.
"The sober unit will save time, it will save money, but most importantly it will save lives," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
The unit has picked up 100 people in its first month of action.