SoMa RISE (Recover, Initiate, Support, Engage)

Serving the SoMa and Tenderloin communities, SoMa RISE is a pilot project of SF Public Health and HealthRIGHT 360.

“SoMa RISE Entrance” by Paul Morrill

Why SoMa RISE?

Interior of SoMa RISE
“Space to relax and recover” by Paul Morrill

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

SoMa RISE 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. 
 

Beds at SoMa RISE
“A place to rest” by Paul Morrill

We prevent fatal drug overdoses

All 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.

Chairs in SoMa RISE
“A place to recover” by Paul Morrill

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to help

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

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

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?

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?

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

What is a drug sobering center & why is the city opening one?

What is a drug sobering center & why is the city opening one?

A drug sobering center is an innovative way to address the serious problem of drug overdose deaths in SF and the deteriorating street conditions. It was the top priority of the SF Meth Task Force and a central recommendation of the city’s Mental Health SF legislation. While sobering centers have been opened before and we do have an alcohol sobering center, the SOMA RISE Center will be one of the first in the nation to provide an indoor monitoring site for drug intoxication. 

 

The SoMa RISE Center will provide a safe place for persons coming down from drugs, including meth, heroin, and fentanyl, which are the main cause of the high rates of overdose deaths in the city. While indoors, people will be welcomed and will be offered food, showers and a space to rest— and be connected to other services as they leave, which could include housing. This low-barrier approach to behavioral health services has proven successful in helping move people along the path to recovery and wellness.  

 

Research shows sobering centers improve the lives of participants. The drug sobering center also provides an alternative approach to law enforcement and unnecessary emergency room visits and hospital stays.  

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

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

The SoMa and Tenderloin neighborhoods are among the most seriously impacted by drugs, drug use and drug overdose. These two neighborhoods have the city’s highest overdose rates, predominantly among individuals who are experiencing homelessness. Making the facility easily accessible to those in greatest need affords the best chance of positive outcomes. After an extensive search of options in the SoMa and Tenderloin areas, 1076 Howard Street, between Sixth and Seventh Streets, was selected as the optimal choice being centrally located to the highest area of need and having the right facility features.

With a brick and mortar building, we can better ensure safety, stability, and cleanliness. Placing the facility near a hospital, as some community members have proposed, does not address the needs of these clients. We need to meet people where they are at. Should individuals need to go to the hospital, the drug sobering center will call emergency services. The intention is that clients will come into the center before they have a drug related crisis, emergency, or a drug overdose. See below for more information about the clients this facility will serve. 

How will this program benefit the neighborhood?

How will this program benefit the neighborhood?

The SoMa RISE Center will decrease the number of intoxicated people on the streets and increase the likelihood of people seeking drug treatment and other health and housing services. These outcomes are a benefit both to the people in crisis and to the general community who live and work in SoMa.

 

SF Public Health and HealthRIGHT 360 are committed to finding solutions that address community concerns, including transporting clients there and identifying destinations for all clients as they are exiting the facility. Unfortunately, the SoMa RISE Center cannot solve all the issues created by homelessness and substance use disorders in the SoMa and Tenderloin neighborhoods, but it is one of a number of solutions designed to address these challenges.  

How will the program support neighborhood safety?

How will the program support neighborhood safety?

SF Public Health and HealthRIGHT 360 are committed to the safety of neighbors, clients and staff. We will work to ensure the program does not have a negative impact on neighborhood safety and quality of life. We pledge to maintain cleanliness in the front the building and to supervise the wider area around the entrance. Safety workers will ensure the area is quiet, clean and does not lead to congregating. They will supervise a designated place to smoke that is away from the doorways of residents and businesses. An ambassador team will walk the street to reach out and engage people in the area who use drugs, to encourage them to come to the center. Other community partners will pick up nearby medical and needle waste. For new concerns, Health Right 360 will have a phone number for neighbors to call and a website for neighbors to provide feedback.  

Who is the SoMa RISE Center designed to serve?

Who is the SoMa RISE Center designed to serve?

The SoMa RISE Center is designed to address the specific needs of people in the SoMa and Tenderloin neighborhoods who use drugs and are intoxicated, non-violent, and willing to following instructions.

As an example, a young woman in her early 20’s with a history of trauma is sitting in the street in SoMa, intoxicated and confused. The Street Crisis Response Team may bring her to the drug sobering center where she is welcomed by staff. She can use the restroom, get a shower, have a snack, and sleep off her intoxication. Before leaving, the staff will offer her referrals to substance use, mental health or other resources and services, including transportation upon departure to a women’s shelter.  

How will people get to the program and where will they go after?

How will people get to the program and where will they go after?

Clients can walk in or can be transported by street outreach teams (SF Homeless Outreach, 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.

Could this center ever become a safe consumption site?

Could this center ever become a safe consumption site?

The SoMa RISE Center at 1076 Howard Street cannot and will not be a safe consumption site. The facility and program is designed, permitted and leased as a drug sobering site. A safe consumption site, should it be considered in another location, would have to go through an approval process that involves community notification and input.  

Who is HealthRIGHT 360 and what is its role?

Who is HealthRIGHT 360 and what is its role?

 

HealthRIGHT 360 will operate the SOMA RISE Center with oversight by the San Francisco Department of Public Health. HealthRIGHT 360 is a non-profit community provider of residential and outpatient service for health care, mental health, and substance use disorder services. SFDPH and HealthRIGHT 360 have a relationship that dates back to the 1960’s with the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic and Walden House. HealthRIGHT 360 headquarters is located in SoMa, just six blocks away from the SoMa RISE site.  

Who are the staff members on site?

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.

What do the safety workers do? How are they trained?

What do the safety workers do? How are they trained?

The safety workers will be on site 24/7, inside and out, monitoring the building entrance area for safety and overseeing admissions and discharges. Their role includes engaging with individual clients during arrival, conducting safety assessments, assisting with storing client belongings, and ensuring safety throughout the duration of their stay. Safety workers are trained in trauma-informed care, nonviolent communication, and crisis de-escalation. In addition, SoMa RISE ambassadors will reach out and engage people who use drugs to encourage them to come to the center.  They are also trained in crisis de-escalation and helping people reduce drug crisis. 

How does the program work?

How does the program work?

The program can support up to 20 participants at a time with some flexibility. We expect most participants will stay 4 to 12 hours or longer as needed.  During this time, the staff will provide:  

  • Individualized monitoring for health and safety  
  • A rest area and space to walk to meet needs at different stages of intoxication  
  • A place to shower, hydrate and get light snacks, and some clothing if necessary  
  • Storage for belongings  
  • Assessments for substance use, physical and mental health issues  
  • Referral and transportation to services, including treatment and housing  
  • Monitoring for symptoms of overdose and intervention as needed  

How will the SoMa RISE Center pilot be evaluated?

How will the SoMa RISE Center pilot be evaluated?

Evaluation criterion will include an assessment of program and community safety, service utilization, and contribution to the goals of the City’s Mental Health SF objectives. If the center is successful based on the criteria, a case can be made to create new neighborhood-based drug sobering centers elsewhere in the City where we know there is need. 

When will SoMa RISE services begin?

When will SoMa RISE services begin?

The SoMa RISE services will open 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm beginning Monday, June 27, 2022. The program will ramp up to full 24 hour services in several weeks for up to 12 participants.  The program will be fully operational soon after that.  

What's next and how can the community provide feedback?

What's next and how can the community provide feedback?

 

SF Public Health and HealthRIGHT 360 conducted two community meetings on April 21 and April 27, 2021 to gather feedback from the community. A further community response meeting was held on May 26, 2021. In this meeting, DPH and HealthRIGHT 360 shared plans to address community concerns specifically around safety and street conditions, which included commitment that: 

  • The SoMa RISE Center is designed to serve the SoMa and Tenderloin neighborhoods. 
  • SF Public Health and HealthRIGHT 360 commit to identifying and transporting participants to “next step” destinations.  
  • SF Public Health and HealthRIGHT 360 are partnering with community organizations in the vicinity to address safety and street conditions. 
  • The SoMa RISE Center will be evaluated based on how it has improved the lives of participants and the neighborhood.  

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

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

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

Call 911. The dispatcher will determine whether to send the Street Crisis Team, 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 SF Public Health and HealthRight 360.

It is located at 1070 Howard Street, SF CA 94103

It is open 7 days a week; 8am-8pm

Still have questions? You can call 415-255-3495, or email: somarise@healthright360.com for more information.