The centre would run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, house 10 beds and employ security to ensure clients and staff are safe. The proposed annual operating budget is just over $2.6 million.
The report notes sobering and assessment centres have opened in cities such as Campbell River, Duncan, Nanaimo, Port Alberni and Prince George since 2015, and are funded by their local health authorities.
A sobering centre is a facility that hosts those with short-term mental health and substance use concerns, offering a medical approach to their sobriety rather than one based on criminal justice. Clients who use sobering centres are back outside the facility’s walls within 24 hours of arriving.
The last time the City of Kamloops developed a business case for such a facility was 2016 — under a B.C. Liberal government and before the toxic drug crisis was declared a provincial emergency. Partnering with the Phoenix Centre (now known as the Day One Society) was presented to the then-minister of health but did not result in a centre being approved.
Council will decide if the Kamloops sobering and assessment centre business case will be presented to Mental Health and Addictions Minister Jennifer Whiteside and Interior Health President and CEO Susan Brown.
The business case can be read here.