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SLO detox facility gets fully funded, to open in late summer 

In January, the Community Action Partnership of SLO County (CAPSLO) took a leap of faith: It decided to break ground on a new detoxification facility in SLO before it had all the funds to pay for it.

Construction costs for the project, delayed amid COVID-19, ballooned 67 percent over initial estimates of about $1 million—leaving CAPSLO with a shortfall.

Rather than wait for more money, though, CAPSLO's board voted to forge head and hope that the needed funds would come through.

"This has been a need for 30-plus years," said Loren Leidinger, outreach director at CAPSLO. "We kind of took a leap. We basically voted to move ahead while we continued to fundraise."

click to enlarge UNDER CONSTRUCTION A new public detox center (rendered) is expected to open in SLO this summer. - RENDERING COURTESY OF CAPSLO
  • Rendering Courtesy Of CapSLO
  • UNDER CONSTRUCTION A new public detox center (rendered) is expected to open in SLO this summer.

The gamble paid off. On May 17, CAPSLO announced it'd received a $250,000 grant from Bank of America—bridging the final missing piece of funding. The facility, supported by a combination of state grants and private donations, is expected to open in late summer.

"We're going to be able to finish construction on schedule," Leidinger said. "Everything came in alignment."

The 2,660-square-foot center—officially called the 34 Prado Medically Assisted Withdrawal Treatment Center—is located on CAPSLO's 40 Prado Homeless Services campus in SLO.

Initiated in 2018, it will be the first of its kind in the county to focus on low-income clients. The nearest comparable facilities are in Santa Cruz or Fresno, Leidinger said.

When it's completed, CAPSLO will hand the center off to the SLO County Behavioral Health Department, which is currently searching for an outside operator to contract with.

Future clients at the center will be able to go through a medically assisted detoxification process for six to eight days, and then have the option to rehabilitate on-site for up to 90 days.

Officials say the facility is urgently needed, as substance abuse continues to rise locally and beyond. More than 22,000 adults in SLO County (about 10 percent of all adults) are suffering from substance abuse disorders, according to CAPSLO. Local detox services are currently very limited.

"For those without insurance, or who are on Medi-Cal, the challenge of withdrawal is daunting," read a CAPSLO press release. "The 34 Prado Medically Assisted Withdrawal Treatment Center [meets] an articulated need expressed by the community, local law enforcement agencies, county Drug and Alcohol Services, county and local government, and other social service agencies." Δ

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