Los Angeles County supervisors have voted to open a Sobering Center to treat chronic alcoholics in an area with a large homeless population.
Proponents say that such a facility would save first responders time and be more cost-effective for the county. While the emergency departments would still be the destination for serious medical cases, the new facility would be capable of diverting around 8,000 low-level offenders and mentally ill persons from hospitals and jails.
The cost of the Sobering Center, similar to those established in other parts of the U.S., is estimated to be $2 million to establish and $3.4 million per year to maintain. County officials are confident that it will ultimately save the county money by diverting people from costlier alternatives.
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Read more about Sobering Centers here.