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Boise City / Ada County
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Community Detox and Crisis Center

Detox-Color Detox_Floor Plan12-15-2008

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                 Contact: Adam Park
MONDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2008                                         384-4402 /apark@cityofboise.org


Partners in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Crisis Center today announced the signing of a joint powers agreement to create, fund and provide for the operation of the facility to be located at North Allumbaugh Street in Boise. Agencies participating in the agreement are the cities of Boise, Eagle and Meridian; Ada County; and the State of Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. A joint powers agreement is required to establish the legal authority for the involved governmental agencies to partner on the project.

At a press conference in the Boise City Council Chambers, Boise Mayor David Bieter also announced the scheduled opening for the center, in January 2010, with groundbreaking to occur April 2009.

“With the signing of this agreement we are one vital step closer toward providing the Treasure Valley with this important facility,” Mayor Bieter said. “I’m gratified to see that in good times or in bad, we can still come together as a community to provide needed care to allow people to become productive members of our community.”

“More than 17,000 people in the valley struggle with at least one chemical addiction. Private medical providers currently turn away 335 people a month who voluntarily seek treatment due to lack of resources. This crisis center will help fill the gap, in turn yielding a cost savings to state and local governments at the same time,” said Ada County Commission Chairman Fred Tilman. Ada County Commissioner Paul Woods added, “The costs of not intervening early to prevent the incarceration of those with substance abuse and mental health issues is staggering. It is clear that providing assistance to non-incarcerated, low-income individuals is a benefit to the communities this crisis center will serve.”

“Recent data indicate 85% of our prison population deals with substance abuse problems that make it more likely they will be re-arrested when released,” Eagle Mayor Phil Bandy said. “This facility will provide a much-needed opportunity for individuals with substance abuse problems to seek the assistance they need to address their underlying mental and/or physical issues. It is my hope this facility will not only assist those with substance abuse issues but will essentially pay for itself by reducing the social impacts of substance abuse and the costs incarceration and recidivism.”

“This is an area where we all have a vested interest as it impacts our families, businesses, and communities on a daily basis,” Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd said. “This center is a place where a person can turn, which has only been made possible because we have crossed jurisdictional lines and accepted joint responsibility to make it happen.”

“When Idaho citizens are in crisis, our community must respond effectively and efficiently,” said Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Director Richard Armstrong. “This facility allows a unified and consistent response, without jurisdictional barriers interfering with treatment. We are one team with this project, and hope to build on these relationships in the future.”

The 9,200-square-foot facility, which will be operated by a specially qualified third-party medical provider, will extend emergency sobering services, detoxification services, and mental health crisis services to Treasure Valley residents in need. The facility will provide a sobering station, 12 beds for detoxification and eight beds for mental health crisis. Construction cost of the facility is estimated at $2.7 million, with an annual operating budget of $1.8 million. The facility will be owned and maintained by the Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority.

Other funding partners include United Way of Treasure Valley, Region IV Mental Health Board, the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority, Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center, and the Community Detox Coalition. Additional construction funding was provided through federal funds brought home by Idaho’s Congressional Delegation.



To provide an integrative crisis center that will be a single point of access for indigent and low-income persons in psychiatrically or medically compromised conditions due to mental health or substance abuse crisis.

The facility will provide short term medically monitored sobering, detoxification and sub-acute psychiatric stabilization services in a safe, caring, and therapeutic environment. It will effectively divert potential inpatient hospitalizations and/or incarcerations to a less restrictive but medically responsive environment. The program will provide linkages to long-term community resources as part of a seamless continuum of care and will serve residents of region IV of the State of Idaho.

Project Summary

A collaboration of Ada County, the cities of Boise, Eagle and Kuna, Idaho Health and Welfare, The United Way of Treasure Valley, the Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority, St. Alphonsus and St. Lukes Regional Medical Centers, and other non-profit organizations has committed to the development of a medically monitored community sobering, detoxification and subacute mental health facility. 

The facility will open with a total of 26-beds and have the capacity to expand to a 48-bed capacity, and will be approximately 9,300 square feet.  The site selected for the facility is located on approximately 1.7 acres, at 320 N. Allumbaugh St., Boise Idaho.

Funds to construct the facility were accumulated by grants received from City of Boise City (Community Development Block Grant) the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Ada County, Federal Appropriations, the United Way, and both St. Alphonsus and St. Lukes Regional Medical Centers for a total of $2.7 million for design and construction.

Under the current project scenario, the Housing Authority will oversee the design and construction of the facility and will be the owner and facility manager once construction has been completed..

Currently the Housing Authority is in the Design Phase of the project with Hummel Architects.   Construction is targeted to commence soon after the standards being developed by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare are reviewed by the appropriate entities.  Operations of the facility are anticipated to begin within several months of construction. 

Ada County has offered to serve as the administrator of the center contingent upon ongoing financial support of all the partners.  Ada County is well suited to take on operational administration of the Center on behalf of the partnership.  Ada County recognizes that the financial support of local units of government can only be year to year, but is confident that each of the partners understands that the ramifications of discontinuing funding will be to discontinue operation of the whole facility.  Absence of an operational facility still results in costs being incurred by governmental units although in different programs or time periods.

The efforts to date in creating this facility have been extraordinary, and we look forward to seeing the benefits from our collective efforts.  Presented in this proposal is a brief statement of need followed by a description of the project scope, operational guidelines, budget and a draft funding agreement.


For the past decade, our region has recognized that there is no current medical facility to treat non-incarcerated, low-income individuals who suffer from either drug or alcohol withdrawal syndrome or voluntary mental health service needs.  The costs to the community for not intervening are expensive hospital charges or even worse, incarceration.  Medical stabilization is a necessary first step before effective treatment can occur and abstinence can be attained.

According to the Boise State University Center for Health Policy, an estimated 17,400 people in the Treasure Valley struggle with at least one chemical addiction.  Private medical centers currently turn away 335 people monthly who are voluntarily seeking treatment, due to lack of resources.  The availability of an 18-bed detox and 8-bed mental health Center will yield cost savings to state and local governments.

The costs of not intervening early to prevent incarceration are staggering.  Ada County has recently completed a new $6 million, 82-bed medical facility at the Ada County jail to accommodate a growing inmate population with mental health and substance abuse medical needs.  Ada County will spend $2 million annually to staff and operate this facility.  In addition, Ada County spends $250,000 annually in support of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s mobile crisis unit.  This effort assists citizens with mental health needs in getting proper treatment prior to requiring hospitalization.  It is clear that providing assistance to non-incarcerated, low-income individuals for mental health and substance abuse is a benefit to the communities it serves.

The anticipated scope of the Center is threefold:

  • a sobering station that will act as a safe environment for people whose impairment due to alcohol intoxication is judged to put themselves and the greater community at risk
  • an 18-bed detoxification facility whose average length of stay will be 3-to-5 days to stabilize chronic addict's/alcoholic's physical condition and to afford medically monitored care during this process
  • an 8-bed, sub-acute psychiatric crisis stabilization unit of similar duration designed to address psychiatric instability and divert expensive, acute psychiatric hospitalization

Operating Concept

The Center will effectively unify the three services into an integrative healing facility that will be a single point of access for persons in psychiatric or medically compromised conditions due to mental health or substance abuse crises.   It will provide:

  • a uniform assessment process utilizing clinically valid assessment tools to determine medical risk of potential admissions and ascertain presenting needs
  • treatment planning to address medical, psychiatric, psychosocial and other compelling precipitants in the plan of care
  • administration of prescribed medications by qualified medical personnel
  • a safe and healing milieu, including therapeutic and didactic group experience utilizing clinical protocols, emphasizing ‘edu-care’ (compassionate education), crisis management, symptoms management, and wellness in preparation for community re-entry
  • linkage with appropriate community resources as part of a seamless continuum of care prior to discharge

Exhibit B illustrates the operating concept for the facility.  The Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority (BC/ACHA) will own the land and the building.  It is anticipated that the BC/ACHA will lease the building to an operating group consisting of the state of Idaho and local units of government under a joint powers operating agreement.  Private nonprofit entities such as the hospitals that contribute funds for operations will participate through a steering committee.  This steering committee will develop operating protocols in partnership with the Joint Powers group.  Ada County will serve as the entity to formally accept and distribute funds on behalf of the Joint Powers group.

Annual Operating Budget

The facility will operate 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and will be fully staffed.  The intent is that all programs associated with the facility will operate 24/7 as well.  A summary of the anticipated operating revenues and expenses is presented in Exhibit A.

Anticipated Impact

  • The center will serve an estimated 1,000 patients annually
  • Indirect savings include enhancing the quality of life of impacted patients, their families, and their neighbors in the Treasure Valley area
  • Associated reduction in crime rates and an improvement of public safety
  • Reduction in the incidence of incarceration and use of the penal system
  • The center will serve as the statewide model for public/private partnership to enhance the continuum of care and the delivery of critical care services to the community



State of Idaho, Region IV Department of Health and Welfare   $900,000
Ada County                                                   $250,000
City of Boise                                                $240,000
City of Meridian                                             $ 52,000
City of Eagle                                                $ 16,000
United Way of Treasure Valley                                $ 50,000
Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center                      $200,000
Saint Luke's Regional Medical Center                         $150,000
TOTAL REVENUE                                              $1,858,000



Total Staffing Expenses                                   $1,180,000

Total Other Operation Expenses                              $678,000

TOTAL DIRECT OPERATION COST                               $1,858,000



Region IV Substance Abuse and Mental Health Crisis Center

Operational Diagram

Detox Flow Diagram

Contact Information:

Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority
1276 River St. Suite 300
Boise, Idaho 83702

Deanna L. Watson, Executive Director (dwatson@bcacha.org) 208-287-1054
Ben Duke, Development/Construction Manager  (bduke@bcacha.org) 208-287-1073

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Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority
1276 W River St., Suite 300,  Boise Idaho  83702
Phone:  (208) 345-4907     Fax:  (208) 345-4909     TTY:  (208) 363-9734
E-Mail:  housing@bcacha.org

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