Kathy Bray is the CEO for the Volunteers of America Utah, and she said they are excited about the expansion.
“Volunteers of America has been operating the detox services in Salt Lake County for 26 years at the same location, and we`re just thrilled to have a newly updated building and an expanded building so that we can bring in an additional 12 people on any given night,” she said.
Bray said the expansions will help them serve more people in need.
“We’re serving 1,700 people a year, and now we’ll serve more—about 2,000 I bet,” she said.
Bray said the center is open around the clock so that anyone who needs help detoxing can get help by calling in.
Another development has been a joint-effort with local law enforcement. Bray said the Jail Diversion Program allows officers to send inebriated persons they find to the detox center instead of booking them into jail.
“Our staff will go pick the person up and bring them here to detox, so that the police can move on to their next call and then the person never has to go to jail, and then we`re providing treatment instead of incarceration, which is a much more humane response to addiction,” she said.
The center is still in need of donations to help further its progress. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has pledged to donate $200,000 if the community can put forward the same amount. Bray said they are getting close to this goal.
“We`ve raised about $150,000 so far,” she said. “We have close to $50,000 left to go in order to receive the $200,00 from the church, so we`re really wanting to ask for help with that, and beyond that we have a bit more to raise and then debt reduction to work on.”
Steven Weathers is one of those who has used the center’s services, and he said he is very grateful for the assistance.
“I’ve been in and out of detox a lot over the years, and this time it saved my life,” he said. “And I’m so grateful for the staff here… Wow, all I can say is wow.”
Click here if you’d like to donate to or volunteer with the detox center.