By Kathy Chouteau
During National Recovery Month, the new WestCare California (WCCA) Richmond Health and Wellness Center celebrated a virtual grand opening on Sept. 14.
A video presentation on social media commemorated the opening of Richmond’s newest residential treatment program at 208 23rd St. and included a virtual tour, ribbon cutting and remarks from West County Supervisor John Gioia and other stakeholders.
A partnership between Contra Costa County and WestCare California, the WCCA Richmond Health & Wellness Center’s target population will include adult males 18 years and older with a chronic alcohol and/or substance misuse and/or abuse disorder and those requiring clinically managed withdrawal (detoxification) services, per WCCA. The center expects the majority of those served will be residents from the greater Richmond area.
“This is the first residential treatment and detox facility to operate here in West County since 2014,” said Goia as he kicked off the video presentation, adding that “what’s exciting about this center is it will allow individuals to be treated in their own community…whether it’s helping find a job and getting vocational training, getting medical help, [or] getting links to educational and social supports. All of those are really important to put someone on a path to recovery.”
The centrally located facility is fully equipped with three floors of updated facilities that include 25 beds, ample office space, TV/group room, laundry rooms, kitchen/dining room, staff lounge, outdoor picnic tables and more.
According to Suzanne Tavano, director, Behavioral Health Services, Contra Costa County, there are “10 beds to allow people to detoxify from substance use, and then also the 15 residential beds, which will support them during their continuing recovery.”
Clients will have access to a full course of care, including residential treatment services, withdrawal management, case management and a cognitive behavioral treatment curriculum. Noting that it took five years of advocacy to make the center a reality in Richmond, Antwon Cloird, district 1 supervisor, AOD Advisory Board, Contra Costa County, said it “will give our community a second chance at a first pass.”
Shawn Jenkins, deputy chief operating officer for WestCare-Western Region, echoed Cloird’s remarks and shared his organization’s excitement upon opening the center.
“Westcare prides itself in providing services that enable those that we serve the opportunity to not only live a clean and sober life, but one that is independent and meaningful. We are excited about this opportunity to work with Contra Costa County and the City of Richmond, as we weave ourselves into the fabric of a community based provider network that works in support of this amazing community,” said Jenkins.
With a group of staff members joining her, Gertrude Wilson, program director, WCCA Richmond Health and Welless Center, lifted a large pair of scissors and performed the official ribbon cutting on the new facilities.
Perhaps the words of Fatima Mata Sol, program chief, AOD Services, Contra Costa County, summed up the virtual event’s overall atmosphere best. “We are finally opening our most wanted facility in Richmond, California…It has been a long journey,” adding, “I would like to recognize, first and foremost, people in recovery, because without their help and inspiration, this program would have never been possible.”
The WCCA Richmond Health and Wellness Center is located at 208 23rd St. in Richmond. For more info, call (510) 216-4632. Learn more about WestCare here. Watch the Richmond Health and Wellness Center’s grand opening video presentation here.
Mike Kinney contributed to this report