Good News and Not-So-Good News
July 26, 2019
Street Health Harm Reducation Worker, Monica (left) and Rediet, Crisis Intervention Worker
Good news - Three times in the last six months, Street Health’s weekly Harm Reduction Drop-In has offerred free Hepatitis-C testing, thanks to our partners from VIRCAN. More than 70 clients have been tested for this viral infection, which someone can carry without even knowing it. A quick finger poke; results the same day. Testing and access to treatment, which often provides a cure in six months or less, can be obtained through a clinic. For those who need additional supports, the Street Health Nursing team helps them determine next steps. Clients can engage just by droppin in.
Harm Reduction Drop-Ins like ours offer education and supports that allow people to better manage their health and take steps to avoid transmission.
To invite clients in the area, Harm Reduction Workers used a variety of approaches to engage community members. We held an introductory info session developed and delivered by Harm Reduction Outreach worker Monica F. (pictured above), followed by street outreach by Don, Daniel and Jeremy to build awareness and help people deal with concerns about stigma.
Thanks to our partner VIRCAN for their expertise and commitment to accessible testing and treatment. For more information on Hepatitis, visit: www.vircan.ca
Other news: Fence on street-facing property at Street Health
Street Health’s neighbourhood is an epicenter of both the housing crisis and the drug overdose crisis. The suffering we witness in this community is deeply systemic. We have been and will continue to sound the alarm about this desperate and worsening situation.
On Friday, July 26, Street Health installed a temporary fence at the front of our building. This, due to intense public & political pressure.
The fence will be closed after hours and on weekends. We recognize that a fence is not an appropriate solution to the overflowing shelter system and pressures on public spaces that lead people to gather in our driveway. People who are homeless deserve to have a safe space where they can spend their time and unfortunately, without resources, we cannot create this space at Street Health outside of our hours of operation. During the day, we are OPEN, and have also coordinated a team of outreach workers to monitor our outdoor space and ensure that people are safe and connected with our services & other community resources that may benefit them.
Please feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop by and speak to Street Health staff if you have any concerns or suggestions about this situation.