SoMa RISE (Recover, Initiate, Support, Engage)

Saving lives from drug overdoses and connecting people to care.

Why SoMa RISE?

We invite people indoors, keep them safe, and get them help

 

The SoMa RISE Center welcomes intoxicated people who are struggling with substance use from the streets to a safe place indoors.

 

At SoMa RISE, participants can access clean bathrooms, showers, food and a place to rest.

 

Afterwards, our respectful, compassionate staff can help participants connect with medical care, mental health and substance use and housing services.

 

The Center will improve safety for both participants and neighbors by creating a safe place for people experiencing a drug related crisis. 
 

We prevent fatal drug overdoses

 

 

All opioid overdose fatalities are preventable. 

 

All Center staff are trained in overdose reversal, know how to recognize an overdose in progress, and have the means to respond.

 

The SoMa RISE Center offers training in overdose recognition, response, and Narcan administration to clients so they can take these crucial skills with them to prevent deaths in the community.

It’s a key element of Mental Health SF

 

 

Mental Health SF is a comprehensive plan passed by the full SF Board of Supervisors to address mental health and substance use challenges throughout SF.

 

The plan focuses first on serving unhoused people with serious mental illness and/or substance use disorders and prioritizes getting people off the streets and into care.

 

Opening a drug crisis response center was the number one recommendation of Mental Health SF’s 2019 Methamphetamine Task Force.

1076 Howard

The SoMa RISE (Recover, Initiate, Support and Engage) Center opens in winter 2021. Serving the SoMa and Tenderloin communities, it is a pilot project of the San Francisco Department of Public Health and HealthRIGHT 360.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to help

Q: How can I help someone in a mental or drug-related crisis?

A: Call 911. The dispatcher will determine which team to send, the Street Crisis Team, SF HOT (Homeless Outreach Team), the Drug Overdose Team or, if people are in danger, the police or ambulance. If you are calling about needles, garbage or human waste, you can report online or call 311. 

How do I report an encampment?

Concerns about an encampment blocking the sidewalk (fully obstructed or within 6 feet of entrances to homes or businesses) should be directed to the San Francisco Police Department Non-Emergency line at: 415-553-0123.

Concerns related to illegal activity within the encampment should be directed to SFPD Non-Emergency at 415-553-0123 or 9-1-1, whichever is appropriate.

How do I report needles?

You can report concerns related to syringe litter online or by calling 311. The San Francisco AIDS Foundation is also partnering with the program to maintain a syringe-free area around the center and the pick-up crew can reached directly for rapid response (7.00 am-7.00 pm daily) by texting 415-810-1337.

How to report emergencies, drug and mental health crises, encampments and garbage in SF

About the SoMa RISE Center

Q. Why was the South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood chosen?

A: The SoMa and Tenderloin neighborhoods have the highest incidence of people using drugs in public, and they have the city’s highest overdose rates, with the resulting tragic loss of life, predominantly among individuals who are experiencing homelessness. Making the facility accessible to people in greatest need from both neighborhoods creates the best chance of positive outcomes for our city as a whole.

Q: How will this program benefit the neighborhood?

A: The SoMa RISE Center will be a compassionate space where people who are experiencing problematic substance use will be welcomed. This will directly reduce the presence of people who are struggling with substance use on the streets and will create new opportunities for them to connect with drug treatment, housing assistance, and other health and human services. These outcomes are a benefit both to the people in crisis and to the people who live and work in SoMa and pass by them every day.

Q: Who is the SoMa RISE Center designed to serve?

A: The SoMa RISE Center is designed to address the specific needs of people in the SoMa and Tenderloin neighborhoods who are struggling with substance use, non-violent, and willing to follow instructions.

As an example, a woman in her early 20s with a history of trauma is sitting in the street in SoMa, using substances, and appears  confused. The Street Crisis Response Team brings her to the center, where she can use the restroom, get a shower, have a snack and water, and get some restorative rest/sleep and allow her condition to improve. While she’s there, she is safe from experiencing further traumas, and because she is indoors, any escalation in her condition will be met promptly with a compassionate, professional response. This improves safety for her and for the community. The staff engages with her, offers her referrals and linkages to other appropriate programs that can support her, including medical care, psychosocial services, and substance use services and other resources, and upon departure, we transport her to a women’s shelter.

Q: How does the program work?

A: The program can support up to 20 clients at a time with some flexibility. We estimate most will stay 4 to 12 hours (or longer, if needed) to recover from intoxication.

During this time, we will provide:

  • Screenings for vital signs and COVID-19 symptoms, plus medical triage
  • A safe, calm, indoor space with beds and chairs
  • Bathrooms and showers
  • Hydration, snacks, and meals
  • Clothes and hygiene kits
  • Overdose response and reversal
  • Connection to services and housing support
  • Respect and compassion
Q: How will people get to and from the program?

A: Clients can walk in or can be transported by street outreach teams from the SoMa and Tenderloin neighborhoods. Outreach teams include the SF Homeless Outreach Team (SF HOT), the Street Crisis Response Team, and EMT/ambulance services. While use of the program is voluntary, we anticipate most people will stay until their condition improves. When they are ready to leave, we will identify and transport people to their next destination, whether that is another service location (such as a shelter), a treatment program, a medical clinic, or to their home location.

Q: How will the program support neighborhood safety?

A: SFDPH and HealthRIGHT 360 are committed to the safety of the SoMa RISE Center’s neighbors, clients, and staff. The Center will be staffed 24/7/365 by professionals who are trained in crisis de-escalation, mental health first aid, medical first aid, trauma-informed care, and harm reduction principles. They will monitor safety and activities in and around the facility, including its immediate surroundings and outdoor spaces. Safe collection and disposal of syringes in and near the facility will happen on an ongoing, routine basis.

 

Q: Who are the staff members on site?

There will always be at least six staff members at the SoMa RISE Center at any given time. In addition to safety workers, there will be an emergency medical technician (EMT) on site 24-hours every day to check vital signs, screen for medical emergencies, and triage people with symptoms of medical conditions. HealthRIGHT 360 has a long and successful history of hiring people for a range of positions who have lived experience with substance use, mental health issues, homelessness, and other marginalization. This improves their effectiveness in engaging clients and encouraging them to connect with services, treatment, and housing.

Additionally, the upstairs floor of the SoMa RISE Center will host SFDPH administrative offices.

Q: Who is HealthRIGHT 360 and what is its role?

 

HealthRIGHT 360 is a nonprofit community provider of health care, mental health treatment, and residential and outpatient substance use disorder services, as well as a key partner in the new Street Crisis Outreach Teams in SF. HealthRIGHT 360 will operate the SoMa RISE Center with oversight by the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

SFDPH has a strong, productive, innovative relationship with HealthRIGHT 360 that dates back to the 1960s with HealthRIGHT 360’s founding agencies, Haight Ashbury Free Clinic and Walden House. The HealthRIGHT 360 headquarters is located in SoMa, just six blocks away from the SoMa RISE Center.

Q: How will we know if the SoMa RISE Center is effective?

A: Evaluation criteria are currently being developed by a team of experts. The process will assess program and community safety, service utilization, and the Center’s contribution to the objectives of the Mental Health SF plan. The results of this evaluation may guide improvements to the SoMa RISE Center and may support initiatives to create additional drug crisis response centers in other neighborhoods where we know the need exists.

Q: How can the community give feedback?

A: Please send your feedback and questions to somarise@healthright360.org 

Q: How to help someone in a mental health or drug-related crisis?

A: Call 911. The dispatcher will determine whether to send the Street Crisis Team, SF HOT (Homeless Outreach Team), the Street Overdose Team, or, if anyone is in danger, the police or an ambulance.

If you have concerns about needles, garbage, or human waste, you can report online or call 311. 

 

A drug crisis response center is an innovative response to the serious problem of drug overdose deaths in San Francisco and a way to improve safety and overall conditions in the neighborhoods most impacted by drug use.

SoMa Rise at 1076 Howard Street

The lease has been approved for SoMa RISE (Recover, initiate, Support, Engage) Center at 1076 Howard

About

SoMa RISE is a project of the San Francisco Department of Public Health and HealthRight 360.

Still have questions? You can call 415-255-3495, or email: 1076Howard@SFDPH.org for more information.