The Power of Connection
Street Health developed, and is now leading, the Community Harm Reduction Response Team (CHRRT) with funding from the federal government’s Substance Use and Addictions Program (SUAP). Members from eight partnering organizations graduated from our intensive 12-week Harm Reduction training program. All of them are now better equipped to assist their regular clients who have addiction issues, as someone who deeply understands those issues.
Just weeks after the Ontario Government cut funding to Street Health’s Overdose Prevention Site (OPS), CHRRT members attended the 2019 Harm Reduction International Conference (Porto, Portugal) which both inspired & reinforced the approach of Street Health’s harm reduction team.
The Community Harm Reduction Response Team presented at the conference, providing an overview of the first year outcomes of this program..
Harm Reduction, incorporating the lived experience of community members, and providing a Support, Don’t Punish philosophy has always been Street Health’s approach to promoting wellbeing.
Harm Reduction Mentor, Frank Coburn (pictured, far right, with team members Amanda, Iye and delegate Iqbal) highlights, “When working with People Who Use Drugs, harm reduction is the intervention that makes real sense. As Harm Reductionists, we are doing the right thing. I already knew this, but it was reassuring to hear 1,200 conference participants from all over the world saying the same thing.”
To learn more about why services, like those offered by Street Health, are essential for those who use drugs and are homeless, listen to a recent radio interview with a client of a supervised consumption site in Edmonton.