INDIANAPOLIS -- Homeless people with substance abuse problems in Indianapolis are turned away from shelters and can’t get into rehab unless they’ve detoxed, according to Alan Witchey, executive director of the Coaltion for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention.
He says the new Reuben Engagement Center will be a 30-bed detox facility.
“This is designed specifically to remove a barrier that we have in our community right now, which is that people have difficulty accessing services until people go through that detox period,” he said.
For the first time in the city's history, Indianapolis has dedicated funding to help the homeless. A half million dollars was earmarked last year for operating the detox center -- which will serve as a safety net for many of the city’s homeless with substance and mental health problems and for those arrested for public intoxication. Witchey, on the board for the center, says the city will be seeking bids soon for the build-out of the facility.
“The Reuben Engagement Center is designed to have 20 beds come from the homeless population and 10 beds come from the Arrestee Processing Center –or IMPD. Basically it is a place for people to go through medical detox and get engaged – get connected into treatment services,” he said.
It’s to be located above the Arrestee Processing Center on East Market Street downtown and is set to open sometime in July.