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Stockton’s mayor, Community Medical Centers’ CEO and other city leaders gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday at the front of the new Respite Center, a residential facility providing care and treatment for people with substance use disorder, or alcohol addiction.

The 13-bed center, located at 201 N. Stanislaus St., focuses on helping people detox from drugs and alcohol in a safe environment for 14 days while connecting them to other services that will assist them in their recovery process. Community Medical Centers oversaw the facility’s development.

For example, some shelters require residents to be clean and sober before entering their program or other recovery programs cost money, therefore the Respite Center allows people to get clean and sober at no cost to obtain access to other programs.

The new Community Medical Centers Respite Care facility at 201 N. Stanislaus St. in Stockton is shown in an undated photo. (Google image)

The center will be staffed 24 hours a day, have an eight-bed men’s unit, a five-bed women’s unit, patient lounge, dining area, spacious outdoor patio and rooms for group sessions.

Daniel Chavez, Respite Center manager, said there is also a room for a person who is most in need or high-risk such as a pregnant woman.

“Sometimes a using mom is looked upon as a bad mom … so we have a room for them to be able to spend their first 72 hours detox in a room while acclimating them into the facility,” Chavez said. “Everybody deserves the right to get clean, regardless of what drug it is.”

The Respite Center will take people on a first-come, first-served basis while also having a waitlist of 20 people. However, people who don’t make the waitlist will be connected to Community Medical Centers’ outpatient services and be considered when a spot opens on the list.

The center will be free until December when the grant funding ends, but after that people will be switched to Medi-Cal or a sliding scale depending on income.

Victoria Franco is a reporter based in Stockton covering San Joaquin County for Bay City News Foundation and its nonprofit news site Local News Matters. She is a Report for America corps member.