As most long term residents of Alice Springs may know the Drug and Alcohol Services Association (DASA) is a Community Organisation established to address alcohol and other drug issues in the Alice Springs and surrounding areas. The need for a Non-Government Community Organisation in Alice Springs was recognised in 1984 by Northern Territory and Local Government, the NT Department of Health and concerned private citizens.

It was recognised that the need to address alcohol and other drug problems should be met by local Non-Government organisations as fast as possible. Little service development existed in the Alice Springs region at that time. Progressive implementation of a range of services was therefore planned. The new Drug and Alcohol Services Association Alice Springs Inc. agreed that an urgent need was the establishment of a Sobering-Up Shelter as an alternative to police protective custody for the large number of apprehensions for public drunkenness.

In consultation with Government and the NT Department of Health, DASA committed itself to the priority of establishing  the Shelter as the first stage of ongoing development of a further range of services to address other recognised needs. Since that time DASA has grown into a large organisation offering a variety of services for Indigenous and non-indigenous residents of Central Australia.

The Sobering-Up Shelter provides supervised accommodation and care as an alternative to the police cells for people ‘apprehended without arrest’ for being intoxicated in a public place. Clients of this service are given a bed for the night, a meal and shower facilities; and are monitored throughout their stay.

The Sobering-Up Shelter is staffed by Sobering-Up Shelter Care Workers who are empathetic and professional in their duties. These staff offer the clients a safe and clean place to ‘sober up’ and when appropriate they offer Brief Intervention and referrals to our Outreach Team and Aranda House Therapeutic Community. Referrals are also arranged to other service providers.

The Team

Human Resources and Operations Manager

Gavin Connaughton

Team Leader

Jodi Elverd