Drunks picked up in Wollongong's CBD will soon have a free place to sleep it off.
The Watershed Sobering-Up Centre, a state government initiative aimed at curbing alcohol-fuelled crime, will open in a limited capacity on August 30 at 11pm, and will be able to house up to five people.
It is expected to be fully operational and able to house up to 12 people before the end of September.
Admittance is voluntary, and those using the centre must be over 18, intoxicated, and a potential risk to themselves or others.
Watershed drug and alcohol recovery centre will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the centre, and chief executive officer Will Temple said running costs to the organisation would amount to about $500,000 annually.
He said the centre wasn't "a four-star hotel", and described it as more of a "clinical ... safe place for intoxicated people to recover".
Prior to being admitted, intoxicated people will be given the option to organise transport home.
If this is not possible, they will be given a tracksuit, a cup of coffee and a bed.
There will be two beds to a room, and a separate, secure section for women.
However, Mr Temple said it was expected that males would make up 70 per cent of admissions.
There will be three nurses or drug and alcohol trained professionals permanently rostered on during centre opening hours, and more staff will be on call to attend the centre in line with admissions.
The plan for a sobering-up centre attracted criticism when it was first announced in January, with Australian Hotels Association Illawarra sub-branch president Andy Hannelly questioning the rationale behind the move.
However, a NSW Family and Community Services Department spokesman said data from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research was used in order to identify the trial sites.
"The category of data used was 'alcohol-related assaults'," the spokesman said.
"The sites for the two accredited sobering-up centres were very carefully selected."
The facility will be stationed in Auburn Street and will be one of two non-mandatory centres in NSW, the other being at Coogee, while a police-run centre will be established in inner Sydney.
A total of $3.3 million was allocated from the state budget for the one-year trial of the two centres.
A public seminar outlining how the centre will function is on at Wollongong Town Hall on Monday, August 26 from 6pm to 7pm.