GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Grants Pass could soon be getting a sobering center for those found intoxicated and disorderly. On Friday, the city council heard arguments from a board of private citizens raising money for the project.
The Grants Pass Sobering Center is being proposed by a board of private citizens, who are also raising money for the project. The proposal calls for a center to be remodeled from an existing facility to house twelve to fifteen beds.
Because of jail budget concerns, people caught drunk or intoxicated are usually sent home, or if no home is available, they end up on the street or at the hospital.
Backers say if let loose, those people can continue to be a risk to themselves and the community. They say they plan to fund the project with or without the city’s help, but backing would help them start building and open up the facility sooner.
“It’s going to take only around three to six months to remodel the facility, and we have the need now, so the sooner the better,” said Jim Brumbach, the Chairman of the Board of Sobering Center.
The facility is expected to cost around a quarter of a million dollars a year to operate, plus a million dollars up front for remodeling. So far, the board heading the project has raised about $220,000, plus about $40,000 provided by the city.
They say once it’s built, it would cost about half as much to house somebody overnight compared to the jail. It would also allow people to be transferred to mental health or addiction recovery centers for long term treatment.