Fargo officials want to merge its detox center with the only homeless shelter in the city that admits people who have drinking.
City officials believe that grouping the detox center with the Gladys Ray Emergency Homeless Shelter should streamline services and help more people get the help they need. The two now operate out of the same building but are managed separately, one by the city, the other by a non-profit agency.
The proposal calls for the shelter administrator to manage the shared facility for both programs. All of the workers would be city employees, and the facility and staff would be part of the city's public health services.
Fargo Police Chief Keith Ternes said the plan seeks a referral system that staff can use to access support for those with chronic chemical dependency and mental health issues. A "pay-to-stay" fee for those using the facilities will also be considered, Ternes said.
Detox admissions in Fargo have tripled in the last decade, from 894 in 2003 to 3,345 in 2012, city figures show. It expenses were about $460,000 in 2012.
The shelter, which has 35 beds, cost more than $360,000 to operate in the last year.