Ground Is Broken on the City's New Sobriety Center; Should Be Open in Time for New Year's Rush

Otis would like the new digs.
Ground has been broken on the grandly named Houston Center for Sobriety, the alternative drunk tank for partyers who'd rather not get tossed in with the general jail population after a night on the town.

The new facility, located near the Star of Hope mission downtown, is a renovation of an existing two-story, 19,080 sq. ft. building and will consolidate operations that are scattered throughout the city.

It's expected to have an annual operating expense of $1.5 million, "compared to the $4-$6 million currently being spent to process public intoxication cases at the city jail," the city says.

"This building will be the culmination of a great public/private partnership that will not only help reduce the city's financial burden for handling public intoxication cases, it will also ease crowding in our city jail and make our streets safer," Mayor Annise Parker said of the groundbreaking. "We hope contractors will meet the benchmarks set for a grand opening by the end of 2012."

A 501(c)3 foundation will also be created to aid in future fund-raising for operations and possible future expansion.

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