It is Day 10! We have hit the double digits and things are still on fire!
Did you know that Victoria used to have a fixed needle exchange? It was the one, the only, and now it is gone!
This is the former site of Victoria’s only dedicated drop-in space for people who use illicit drugs. It was shut down on May 31st, 2008 after a law suit launched by local neighbours pressured the landlord to evict the service. Since then, the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) has failed to replace the service, much less move ahead with local, national and international research which urges the establishment of supervised consumption services for people who use drugs. Harm reduction services like needle exchange, supervised consumption, street nursing and outreach, and peer support are vital components of a continuum of community health care, are proven to reduce the transmission of HIV and Hepatitis, and provide hope, acceptance and opportunities to improve the health and well-being of people marginalized by poverty, homelessness, addiction, and other impacts of trauma. Where are these services now offered? Out of vehicles, backpacks, and corner offices. When will Victoria stop replacing community spaces with sites of privilege?
*Thanks to the supporters and critics of our work. Keep it coming! Special thanks go out the moderators of some of the other anti-poverty sites and campaigns out there who are doing a fantastic job of scrubbing valid questions and criticisms from their forums! If you are holding a position that you can’t defend, it is not much of a position. We invite the hard questions and unless you are obviously trolling our sites we won’t remove your content.