GALLERY: Austin Sobering Center to open downtown on Thursday

The Austin Sobering Center will open downtown on Aug. 23.

The Austin Sobering Center will open downtown on Aug. 23.

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After more than a decade of development, the Austin Sobering Center will open at 1213 Sabine St. this Thursday.

The center will provide an alternative to the emergency room and jail for publicly intoxicated individuals who need to sober up.

When appropriate, the center will also help patients access resources for treatment and recovery.

"We want to help people get where they need to go," ASC Executive Director Rhonda Patrick said at a media tour of the facility on Monday.

The center can serve up to 50 men and eight women in separate sobering dorms, with private rooms for individuals requiring more attention.

Its services are paid for through public funds via an interlocal agreement between Travis County and the city of Austin.

The city funds the center’s $1.7 million annual budget—although the center has a directive to seek grant and private funding money in the future—while the county provided the building and paid for $887,000 in renovations.

In 2017, Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services had 1,092 alcohol-related calls that resulted in transportation to an emergency room.


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