Windsor got an early glimpse of a new downtown mental health and addictions centre Tuesday morning.

The Transitional Stability Centre opened its doors to the media Tuesday with officials planning to open the centre in early May.

Located on Ouellette Avenue, the centre is part of Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare and will offer a community-orientated day and outreach program, based on voluntary participation by the client.

Hospital vice-president Bill Marra said staff will phase in the program by starting with day-treatment services, eventually rolling out a full residential program for 25 to 50 people.

"We'll really start to get a handle on what the needs are of our citizens who are arriving here with mental health or addiction crises," he said Tuesday.

The objective of the centre is to provide support to people seeking help in managing their mental health and addiction symptoms.

The program will help Hôtel-Dieu Grace identify people who are not getting health care services, explained president and CEO Janet Kaffer 

"We're actually going to see some people that aren't really engaged with the system yet," she said.

The centre is also expected to lessen the workload at Windsor emergency rooms. 

"This is one of those building blocks [we mention] when we talk about health care for Windsor-Essex," Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network CEO Gary Switzer said.

Clients of the new centre are expected to be typically high users of the emergency department. They are frequently involved with police, for low-level offences, and are either homeless or at risk for homelessness.

Windsor police deputy chief of operations Vince Powers said Tuesday he's confident the Transitional Stability Centre "will reduce the rate of recidivism."

The facility is at an old bingo hall and still needs some work to be done, officials said.