Resident Harm Reduction Advisory Committee

In the fall of 2021, CONC undertook a number of measures to both respond to the new Shelter Housing  & Support Authority (SSHA) Harm Reduction directives, and develop new policies with the goal of responding to the overdose crisis. One of the overdose prevention initiatives implemented by CONC, involved the creation of Resident Harm Reduction Advisory Committee at each shelter. The Lansdowne Harm Reduction Committee began meeting monthly in October of 2021.

One of the committee’s goals is to reduce the stigma that people who use drugs face. We hold our meetings openly and prepare our harm reduction supplies openly so people can see us in action.

The Lansdowne Harm Reduction Advisory Committee demonstrates our commitment to harm reduction philosophy by demonstrating the “nothing about us without us” motto – which recognizes that people who use drugs have skills, knowledge, and experience to contribute to overdose prevention and response.  The committee meets monthly with the Breaking Barriers manager, the Health & Wellness worker, and Shelter Intake staff to review harm reduction measures at the shelter and offer support to one another.  We are all motivated by the shared goal of preventing death from overdose.

When it was created, the committee identified the following questions to explore:

 Our completed project include:

  • The installation of a Harm Reduction Supply cabinet in the dining hall. This “low barrier” resource allows residents to access harm reduction supplies, discreetly
  • Greater use of posters concerning Overdose Prevention and Response resources in the shelter common areas and bathrooms
  • Installation of a new dedicated “Harm Reduction Bulletin Board” outside the Intake office
  • Regular posting and communicating of “Bad Drug Alert” notices from Toronto Public Health
  • Promotion of Grief and loss support for residents and staff that may be effected by overdose deaths
  • Promotion of Safe Consumption sites, drug checking services and access to Safer Supply programs

The photo in this post is from our most recent meeting, which shows committee members meeting with Aaron, one of the Parkdale Queen West Community Health Care (PQWCHC) Harm Reduction Outreach workers. He guided us through a workshop on how to make Harm Reduction safer needle use kits. The committee created forty safer needle kits for distribution. We want to thank everyone involved and CONC is proud to be a part of this work in Toronto!

– Jonathan M. – Health & Wellness Worker, under Breaking Barriers 

© Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre. Charity Registration Number: 898720651RR0001

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?