The first drug sobering center in San Francisco is open in the South of Market neighborhood to provide a safe indoor space for people intoxicated with various substances, Mayor London Breed and the San Francisco Department of Public Health announced.

SoMa RISE, which stands for “Recover, Initiate, Support, and Engagement,” is a space for people intoxicated with opioids, methamphetamines, and other substances to rest, access clean bathrooms, shower, have a meal and get connected to care and services.

The center is a tobacco, alcohol, and drug-free space and will support around 20 participants at a time, with each individual expected to stay 4 to 12 hours at the facility.

“Our city is experiencing a substance use and mental health crisis that is sadly affecting far too many residents,” Breed said. “As we continue to address the challenges on our streets, we need to do all that we can to focus our resources and our efforts on those who need it most. The opening of the SoMa RISE Center will not only provide a safe space for individuals in need, but it brings us one step closer to making a difference in these people’s lives and the lives of all San Franciscans.”

SoMa RISE will serve the South of Market and Tenderloin neighborhoods of San Francisco, which have the highest drug overdose rates in San Francisco predominantly among individuals experiencing homelessness.

A look inside the SoMa RISE Center at 1076 Howard Street in San Francisco reveals simple beds for patients who need respite from street life as they deal with substance abuse or other addictions. (Photo courtest of SFGOVTV via Bay City News)

The center will be staffed from 8 a.m. To 8 p.m. By health and safety workers who are trained in naloxone administration. As the center ramps up its operations, it will open 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

SoMa RISE was born out of the city’s Methamphetamine Task Force in 2019, with further urgency added to the project as the synthetic opioid fentanyl continues to ravage communities of San Francisco.

“Opening a sobering center was the top recommendation of the Methamphetamine Task Force I co-chaired in 2019, and I am glad to see that recommendation become a reality with today’s opening of the SoMa RISE sobering center,” said Supervisor Rafael Mandelman. “This is an important milestone in the City’s efforts to address the addiction crisis on our streets, and I look forward to continued partnership with the Mayor and Department of Public Health to accelerate our progress.”

SoMa RISE is run by HealthRIGHT 360, a nonprofit community provider of residential and outpatient service for health care and mental health, with oversight from San Francisco Department of Public Health.

Receiving care at SoMa rise is voluntary. Participants are accepted as they walk in or from street outreach teams like the Street Crisis Response Team or the Homeless Outreach Team.

“As the number of overdoses and drug-related deaths continue to rise, SoMa RISE will be a crucial facility to provide much-needed services to these individuals, and ultimately be a place that many will build brighter futures for themselves,” said supervisor Matt Dorsey, who represents District 6 including the Tenderloin and SoMa.