With Vancouver Island’s first safe injection site opening in 2018, Island Health is looking for providers for the service in Victoria.
The health authority is accepting proposals from community service providers through January 19 to contribute harm reduction workers and persons with lived experience at the site on Pandora Street, which is expected to open in late spring.
A supervised consumption site was approved by Health Canada on August 3 and Island Health is creating a ten-booth space where people can use drugs.
The harm reduction workers will check clients into the safe injection site, oversee substance use, respond to overdoses, and provide harm reduction education and information to clients.
Persons with lived experience will be on hand to provide peer support, responsible for engaging clients and offer counselling.
“We’re losing people to the overdose crisis at a devastating rate, and I have seen first-hand how essential supervised consumption services are to saving lives and offering vital support to people who use illegal drugs,” Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy said in a release.
Island Health’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Richard Stanwick added, “Island Health has found that peers with lived experience play a vital role within our interdisciplinary teams in hospitals and at Overdose Prevention Sites.”