The leaves are falling as my tears, uncountable. You are soaring, sparkling light, stardust again. These are my sons baby shoes and his work boots. The baby shoes sit atop a bamboo urn that contain his ashes, stardust. This is my beautiful boy, killed by fentanyl poisoning in August, 2016. He was a loving father of two little boys, a loyal friend, a loving son and a journeyman tradesperson well-liked by his colleagues. He also experienced trauma at a young age and that pain led him to seek relief. Stigma reduces him to an “addict”. Every day I hear people talk with ignorance about people they don’t know, with labels and judgement and very little knowledge or understanding. It fills me with great pain. We have a long way to go - we must get away from shame, blame and incarceration and treat people that are struggling with love, compassion and evidence-based care, just as we would with any other life-threatening issue. It’s time.
Street Health is pleased to be part of Twenty/Twenty Arts Weathered photography exhibition. Our thanks to everyone who shared photo memorials of family members and friends who have died from overdose. Your photos are a powerful statement that more must be done to prevent these overdose deaths that are killing an average of 55 Ontarians each week.
Street Health’s Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) is a part of the effort to save lives.
We provide service to those who are experiencing homelessness and stigma in Toronto’s south east region. The Ontario Government eliminated funding for this site in March, 2019. Since that time numerous individuals, family foundation and community groups have been instrumental in maintaining this service. Your donation as part of the Weathered campaign is vital to maintain this site in the coming year.