The delivery of medically-supervised injection services is being proposed at three sites in McCauley: the Boyle McCauley Health Centre, George Spady Centre, and Boyle Street Community Services.
On Monday, March 6 at 7 p.m. in the Sacred Heart Church basement, McCauley residents will have a chance to talk about the proposed services at a community meeting organized by the McCauley Community League.
A total of four new service sites are being proposed in Edmonton, including the Royal Alexandra Hospital.
These services are not stand-alone sites, such as the Insite Supervised Injection Site in Vancouver. Instead, these new services will be integrated into an existing site which is already providing health services.
This new model of providing services focuses on reducing the harm drug users experience through their addiction, while providing them with access to other health services to improve their overall health.
Locating the services in McCauley is also intended to reduce street drug use and the number of discarded needles in the neighbourhood. Last year, the syringe pick up project in McCauley found 2304 discarded syringes – an increase of about 400 over previous years.
Recently, the League met with the group promoting the new services in Edmonton to talk about how area residents could be informed about the plans and have their questions and concerns addressed.
Residents within a four block radius of the Health Centre will receive a flyer from the group. They will also be invited to tour the Health Centre and see for themselves how the services will be offered.
The community meeting on March 6 is being organized by the League and not the proponents of the new services. However, representatives of the group will be at the community meeting to answer people’s questions.
The consultation with McCauley residents is part of a longer process of getting approval from the federal government to operate the services at four locations in Edmonton.
Connecting with the communities where the services will be offered is a requirement of that process and is intended to improve the delivery of the services and reduce any negative effects.
Phil is President of the McCauley Community League.