Sobering Center offers safe place for intoxicated

BETHEL — A safe place in Bethel for intoxicated people to sleep off a night of drinking has grown into a round-the-clock operation that wants to better serve those who need help.

The Sobering Center was initially open four nights a week but has expanded its hours over its four winters in operation. It provided 1,860 bed nights in 2012 and served about 970 unique individuals, KYUK reported this week.

Program manager Rusty Tews said some people make repeat visits. He said those individuals have severe addiction problems but are not ready to change and do not want additional help. He says staffers do what they can to help turn users’ lives around.

Tews said about 40 percent of those who use the center are Bethel residents, while the rest are from surrounding villages. He said about 1 in 5 are willing to talk about alcohol issues, and 5 to 7 percent of their contacts result in a referral to medical treatment.

He said the center and its partners are looking at how they can do more with their resources and better serve those who use the center.

He said staff has learned to meet people where they are.

“They’re generally just people. When they’re sober, they’re just sober. When they’re drunk, they’re just people with a problem,” he said. “We’ve learned to deal with the problems in a sympathetic and professional way, and I think it shows.”

More

Alaska nonprofit using online tool to share Yupik history

BETHEL — An Alaska nonprofit organization is encouraging residents of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta to share stories about the region’s rich history as it works to ensure future generations have access to knowledge about the Yupik culture.

Read more

Fairbanks grand jury indicts 4 in theft of heavy safe

FAIRBANKS — Four people suspected of stealing a loaded 500-pound safe from a home in North Pole have been indicted on felony burglary and theft charges.

Read more

CONTACT US

  • Switchboard: 907-586-3740
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-586-3740
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Business Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-523-2230
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES

SOCIAL NETWORKING