May 31, 2016
Island Health has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a new community-based sobering and assessment program in Port Alberni.
The program will consist of two new sobering beds that will provide short-term services (up to 24 hours) for persons of any gender aged 17 and older who is experiencing intoxication due to drug or alcohol use.
In consultation with community partners, this service was identified as being an appropriate addition to the existing range of substance-use services for individuals experiencing substance use challenges. Once the new service is open, individuals who would often end up with nowhere to go will be able to access a safe, supportive environment where they can have access to shelter, food, and clean clothing. They will also be able to access further support, if they so choose, while in the sobering and assessment program. With the collaboration of Island Health and the successful proponent, it is hoped this service will better meet the needs of clients, while decreasing the use of supports such as acute-care beds and RCMP.
The beds will be staffed 24-hours-per-day, 365-days-per-year to support the needs of individuals who need to access this service in a timely manner. Island Health would like to partner with an existing service provider in the community to potentially enhance existing services. It’s expected the program will be operational in late 2016.
Funding for these beds is made possible through the BC Government’s commitment to work with health authorities and the not-for-profit sector to create 500 beds across the province for people in need of substance-use services. Within Island Health, 93 beds will be created as part of the three year plan. To date, 55 beds have been implemented with 38 beds remaining in the final year.
The RFP can be viewed at BC Bid at www.bcbid.ca
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