Los Angeles supervisors approve 'sobering center' in Skid Row

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles County supervisors have approved initial funding for a "sobering center" in the city's Skid Row.

The center will be located at a former mental health center on Maple Avenue. When up and running, it will be able to handle about 8,000 visits a year.

It's an attempt to divert homeless alcoholics away from jail and emergency rooms and toward treatment.

It will be placed in a county-leased building and will be run by the Department of Health Services. Establishing the center will cost $2 million. Maintaining it will cost $3.4 million a year.

Portland, Oregon established a similar center with various degrees of success, but this is the first of kind for Lois Angeles' skid row.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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