In November 2018, the Measure X ballot measure proposed to raise the sales tax in Oceanside by 1/2 cent for a period of seven years to fund public safety programs, infrastructure improvements, road repairs, and supply aid for homelessness programs. Measure X passed on November 6, 2018 by 55.7% of Oceanside voters. Starting April 1, 2019, the sales tax rate in Oceanside is 8.25%.
The Measure X budget was developed and both the Measure X Citizens Oversight Committee and the City Council approved a plan to open the Oceanside Sobering Services Center, a place where Oceanside Police can bring people in the community who are intoxicated, causing problems, and/or who need a safe warm place to sleep. Many times, intoxicated individuals will not be accepted at the jail. While plans for the Sobering Services Center developed, the County agreed to contribute a portion of funding for the new Center.
The City Council approved an agreement in June 2020 with McAlister Institute to run the facility. The Oceanside Sobering Services Center opened in late 2020 and is located at 1919 Apple Street. The McAlister Institute is one of San Diego County's largest alcohol and drug treatment providers. They run programs throughout the County with services spanning prevention, outreach, intervention, outpatient treatment, and short and long-term sober living.
In 2021, Supervisor Jim Desmond assisted the City of Oceanside in obtaining a San Diego County Health and Human Services grant for fiscal year 2021-2022 in the amount of $166,000.
In August 2021, the City Council approved amending the contract with McAlister Institute to include the intake of those under the influence of drugs, not solely alcohol.
This facility not only helps those under the influence, it also allows the Oceanside Police Department to save time and get back on the streets, instead of waiting hours with one person at the hospital or jail.
In 2021, the Oceanside Sobering Services Center assisted 206 people; 56 were referred to long-term shelters and 26 were referred to other services.
The Oceanside Sobering Services Center moves people toward continued services and housing. The Center has separate areas for men and women. People are provided clean clothes if needed, and a warm bed and a meal. They are continually monitored and provided follow up counseling, assessment and referrals for further treatment.