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San Francisco Health Network
Our Programs

Medical Respite and Sobering Center

The Medical Respite and Sobering Center, located at 1171 Mission Street, provides specialized healthcare services to homeless patients in San Francisco. The Center serves as an important discharge option for San Francisco General and private hospitals as well as a drop off point for individuals with chronic alcoholism in need of stabilization services.

Medical Respite Program

The mission of the Medical Respite Program is to provide recuperative care, temporary shelter, and coordination of services for medically and psychiatrically complex homeless adults in San Francisco. Clients are primarily admitted from SF General Hospital and Trauma Center as well as from the City's private hospitals and the VA Medical Center.

The Medical Respite Program provides a wide variety of medical and social services:

  • Referral to Primary Care
  • Management of Urgent Care needs
  • Nursing care, medication management, patient education, and wound care
  • Social services and case management
  • Links to benefits and housing
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health referrals
  • Transportation to medical and social services appointments
  • Three meals a day
  • After care and support provided by the Respite Alumni Network

The Medical Respite Center is located at:
1171 Mission Street, San Francisco CA 94103
Phone: 415.734.4200
Fax: 415.734.4218

San Francisco Sobering Center

The San Francisco Sobering Center was developed as a pilot program in 2003 to focus on the safe sobering of acutely intoxicated individuals. The Sobering Center continues to address the needs of the City's most vulnerable citizens; homeless alcohol dependent persons in San Francisco. At the Sobering Center, alcohol abuse is considered the primary problem, though many clients have secondary issues with other substances, mental illness, and/or multiple medical diagnoses.

The focus of The Sobering Center is threefold:

1. Improve the health outcomes and quality of care for individuals with chronic alcoholism;
2. Increase appropriate options for acutely intoxicated individuals, in order to reduce inappropriate use of emergency department resources;
3. Decrease the inappropriate use of ambulance transports for acutely intoxicated individuals.

To refer an acutely intoxicated client to the San Francisco Sobering Center, contact one of the referring agencies: SF Homeless Outreach / Engagement Specialist Team (415.734.4233), the police, or the ambulance service. Walk-in clients cannot be accommodated. The referring agencies assist in determining the most appropriate disposition.

The Sobering Center is located at:
1171 Mission Street, San Francisco CA 94103.
Phone: 415.734.4227
Fax: 415.734.4223

For administrative and programmatic needs, please contact 415-734-4209 or



San Francisco Medicine, San Francisco Sobering Center
Journal of Healthcare for the Poor and Underserved, Safe Sobering: San Francisco's Approach to Chronic Public Inebriation