Tucsons first and only dog-friendly medical respite center for the homeless is ready for tenants. Casa de Respiro at Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona opens Monday.

Designated for Tucsons unhoused, this center offers post-hospital services after getting treatment from El Rio Health Center.

The center starts accepting tenant admissions on Monday with the intake process taking about 48 hours, so the first guests will likely move in by mid-next week. At intake, tenants are provided clothes, a locker, bed and medicine cabinet.

With no medical staff on-site, tenants must be self-sufficient to stay at the center, but respite assistance will be available for those who need it.

The program manager for Casa de Respiro, Rhanda Mejia, reassures tenants that they will end their stay with much help and resources.

“Our navigators and respite assistants are here to assist them,” Mejia said. “To support all the health literacy they’re given.”

The first floor of Casa de Respiro is licensed as a counseling facility with amenities like a chapel, private meeting room and large activity areas. The second floor is solely for medical respite.

Tenants can stay between 10-30 days to fully heal. Afterward, the center helps them find housing at places like La Frontera, El Pueblo Community and Primavera.

Our guests are really here to recuperate and get better,” Mejia said. “Feel better and then us support them, our staff support them in wherever they feel like life is going to lead them next.

The no-barrier center will house up to 50 people and their furry friends. 36 beds for men, 10 for women and four for end-of-life care.

“As long as they’re here and they’re safe,” said Mejia. “They don’t have to leave during the day. They can just rest for the whole day.”