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City opens first incarceration alternative abstinence treatment center

San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Supervisor Ahsha Safai and other city officials this week celebrated the opening of a new facility that will serve as an alternative to incarceration and provide counseling, career development and other services for more than 80 people.

The Treatment, Recovery and Prevention Academy, located at 630 Geary St., is a partnership between San Francisco’s Adult Probation Department and the nonprofit Positive Directions Equals Change, based in the city’s Bayview District.

People who receive the alternative sentencing to incarceration will participate in a six-month pilot program providing life skills, coping strategies to abstain from drugs, job training and other services. The city’s recently passed budget allocated $4 million in funding this year for the program, according to the mayor’s office.

Once the program is completed, people will be eligible for up to two years of transitional housing at the Geary Street site, which can house 86 people.

Mayor Breed, members of the Board of Supervisors and other city officials on Thursday celebrated the opening of the facility.

The mayor said in a statement:

“Throughout the pandemic, we have continued to work on innovative, community-led solutions to the mental health and substance use crises we see on our streets, and today is a celebration of that work.” 

Safai said:

“An abstinence drug free environment that is peer led has been missing in San Francisco and what better way than to have former addicts leading current ones to turn their lives around in a true community environment.”

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