Richmond’s long-awaited rehab center for men reopens
on November 6, 2020
Earlier this fall, Richmond’s long-awaited rehabilitation center for men reopened, providing community support to local substance users who previously had to drive as far as San Pablo to receive treatment.
The newly named WestCare California Richmond Health and Wellness Center on 23rd Street reopens at a time when reports show that methamphetamine, fentanyl and heroin use are spiking across the country.
Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia, Suzanne Tavano, director of the county’s Behavioral Health Services and other prominent speakers celebrated the center’s opening at a virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 14.
Among those most excited to see the return of the center is Katree Harvey, a former client.
“I am happy to see it has reopened again and hopefully it can help people the way it once helped me,” said the 42-year-old Harvey, who went to the center in 2003 to overcome a cocaine addiction.
Fátima Matal Sol, program chief of the county’s Alcohol and Other Drug Services, says the center will help with continuing recovery and establishing a strong base for rehabilitation.
“While it’s nice that the county has the capacity in Clayton, Antioch or Martinez, they shouldn’t have to travel from Richmond all the way to Clayton,” said Sol. “When somebody is detoxing, they are not in the best state. They need support in that state.”
Before the opening of this center, the county had the ability to serve only seven individuals in detox at a time. Though the new center has 25 beds, it’s operating at half-capacity because of COVID-19 restrictions.
“We are not fully staffed and have to comply with COVID-19 health order requirements,” said Sol. “But I know the program is going to maintain the agency because the agency is really structured.”
Shawn Jenkins, deputy chief director at WestCare’s Western Region, collaborated with Sol and many others to open the new center. And he says he couldn’t be more excited.
“Not only do we want to provide them a good opportunity at a place where they can address their issue and start their journey in recovery,” he said.
“But we want to make sure that their physical health is taken care of and watched after, too.”
(Lead photo: Employees at grand re-opening of center in Richmond. Credit: WestCare Facebook Page.)
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