BY ASHLEY ARNOLD
In a couple of weeks, officials with Comcare hope that they’ll be able to fully open the community crisis center that’s been in the works for more than a year.
“We moved the crisis program from the building it was in to this building,” said Marilyn Cook of the new location at 635 N. Main. “We’re in the process of remodeling it so that the Substance Abuse Center of Kansas and their staff can deliver detox and sobering services here.”
The move, financed through a grant from the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services, will allow Comcare to provide a central location, a first step towards treatment that families can struggle to find for loved ones. It’s a struggle that Jason Van Sickle has seen first hand.
“They struggled to find a place where they could simply have their family members detox so that then they could get help because what I learned at that time is if you want to get help becoming sober and staying sober you first have to get the drugs and the alcohol out of your system and at that time there were no beds, no place to go.”
While that was a big topic of conversation, that wasn’t the only announcement on Tuesday morning. Comcare will now have a nonprofit partner, Comcare Community Partners. On the board of the group include leaders from law enforcement, medical professionals, and local business, including the sheriff, police chief and district attorney.
The facility will be open 24 hours a day and hopes to ease the strain on local ERs that often become the place for everyone needing assistance and one of the few places where police can take people who need to sober up.
“The Sheriff’s Department and the Wichita Police Department have one place where law enforcement officers can take somebody that needs help instead of putting them into an emergency room situation and actually having to stay there with them and tie up law enforcement,” said Van Sickle.
Officials with Comcare say that the crisis center will have 15 beds for people to detox with the hope that they will be able to connect people with the resources they need to get better.