March 11, 2013
New City of Houston Recovery Center
Mayor Annise Parker announces the completion of the Houston Recovery Center renovation, home to the City of Houston's new sobering center, which is expected to begin full operation in the next couple of weeks.
The sobering center is meant to be an alternative to jail for people whose only offense is public intoxication, allowing them to regain sobriety in a safe, medically-monitored environment. Once detainees are sober, they will meet with professional counselors who will offer long-term treatment referrals to appropriate social service agencies. By not booking these offenders into the city jail, officers are able to return to their neighborhood patrols more quickly.
The 84-bed facility is located in a two-story building at 150 North Chenevert Street, Houston 77002. It will be managed by a local government corporation created last year by Houston City Council. Annual operating costs are expected to be $1.5 million, compared to the $4 - 6 million it currently costs to process public intoxication cases at the city jail.
The sobering center is an option only for those detainees who have committed no other crime, have no outstanding warrants and have been taken to the facility by a police officer. There are separate facilities for both men and women.
The second floor of the building is the new home of the Houston Police Department (HPD) mental health unit.