DES MOINES, Iowa — Des Moines residents raised concerns to city council about the lack of resources for unhoused people who may be under the influence of alcohol at a city council meeting Monday.
Many shelters in the area have the ability to turn down intoxicated people, meaning they are taken to the hospital, jail or sent back out on the streets.
One center in central Iowa told Local 5 about what the entry requirements are for to get a bed for the night.
The center said that, although they intend to help anyone in need, people must be able to be coherent enough for their intake process.
Des Moines City Council member Josh Mandelbaum says he and other members of the Homeless Coordinating Council (HCC) are working towards creating a place for those who aren't sober enough for shelters.
The HCC, which is an informal board made up of elected officials like Mandelbaum and nonprofit leaders from across the city, works in conjunction with the city council to help those without homes.
"We're working on, on getting a permanent sobering center in place. There are discussions that are ongoing with, with various partners, you know, the county is going to be a critical partner in this," Mandelbaum said.
He says creating this space is going to take some time, as there are many pieces to consider.
"Obviously, you need to be able to fund that you need to identify a location, you need to figure out the staffing, logistics, there are a lot of different pieces that go into a project like that," Mandelbaum said. "But the key is to make sure you have the right partners at the table and the right set of services there. And then the permanence and funding that you can support that once you get it built."
The city is also working towards creating plans and procedures for unhoused people during days of extreme weather.