A program that has cut the number of homeless drunks arrested on the streets of Ogden faces elimination next month unless it gets more funds, government officials say.
The program's latest funding request wasn't deemed good enough by the state Homeless Coordinating Committee, which criticized the blueprint for being a photocopy of the previous year's application.The homeless substance abuser program was begun last year as a way to force homeless alcoholics into treatment. It requires them to register with, and get treatment from, the Weber County Drug and Alcohol program before they can receive welfare payments or other services.
So far there are 55 clients in the program receiving Antabuse, a drug that makes them ill if they drink alcoholic beverages.
The 55 had a total of 242 arrests for public intoxication before entering the program, only 34 arrests while in the program, and those who have completed it have had only six arrests, with two others in jail, officials said.
The Antabuse treatment usually is successful in stopping the clients from drinking so other programs have a chance to work with them.
The program got $26,000 last year from the state committee, which annually distributes income tax checkoff funds the state collects. It was only given $16,000 this year when renewed, and the initial proposal was not to fund it at all.