Trailer houses constructed in the Moss Park in Toronto, Ontario, Canada are illegal and volunteer overdose prevention sites (Gray, 2018).
It will continue to remain open. There are many users anxious to have their fix of substance and volunteers itching to help them. Zoë Dodd, a prominent harm reduction activist and proponent of good repute, has been at the site for about 7 months with a small group of volunteers (Tierney, 2017).
They are working and have been working to reduce the number of overdoses in the park. They started out in flimsy old tents that could not stand tall to a wind storm. Many drug users would use in the community would die alone in the past as they shot up.
Their corpses would be found later. One Health Canada approved supervised injection site has opened at the Fred Victor Centre for the homeless. Many former volunteers of Dodd work there.
Mayor John Tory said that many of the volunteers at Dodd’s illegal site should transfer to the clientele to the legal site simply across the road. Dodd still considers the illegal Moss Park trailer an integral part of the harm reduction efforts there.
Therefore, they will be staying in place. “Even though Fred Victor opened, we’re still so inundated with the need… This is the epicentre of the overdose crisis, Moss Park,” Dodd explained.
The province released the new numbers for the week on the deaths associated with opioids. It was more than 1,000 from January through to the end of October in 2017. Dodd recommends the governments begin to increase the number of injection sites based on the increasing number of overdoses in order to appropriately respond to the opioid crisis.
The St. Stephen’s Community House sent letters off to the Kensington Marker with an announcement that they earned approval for an overdose prevention site on a temporary basis at the community house.
The process began after pressure from activists. The Ontario Ministry of Health obliged them. A similar site is open in London, Ontario. Applications for other temporary harm reduction sites will be emerging, or are predicted to arise, in other parts of Toronto, Ontario.
The Dodd trailer is running without a permit, washrooms, or water. Joe Cressy, a City of Toronto Councillor and the Chairperson of Toronto’s Drug Implementation Panel, said that they were looking to find the Dodd group a new place in the community to continue their work (City of Toronto, 2018).
Tory wants the harm-reduction site removed because of the park. “Look, I believed from Day 1, and you can go back and look at all my prior public statements, that a public park is not an appropriate place to any kind of a harm-reduction site,” Tory stated, “It’s a public park.”
Dodd wants to move people, but there are as many as 40 or more people who come and use her service each night. No one has died of an overdose on her site – a good track record. The Director of Programs for Fred Victor, Jane Eastwood, stated that between 7 and 23 people use her services each night.
City of Toronto. (2018). Councillor Joe Cressy. Retrieved from https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/council/members-of-council/councillor-joe-cressy/.
Gray, J. (2018, March 9). Moss Park harm-reduction volunteers staying put. Retrieved from https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/moss-park-harm-reduction-volunteers-staying-put/article38267790/.
Tierney, A. (2017, April 25). Meet the Harm Reduction Worker Who Called Out Trudeau on the Opioid Crisis. Retrieved from https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/ez3m5a/meet-the-harm-reduction-worker-who-called-out-trudeau-on-the-opioid-crisis.
(Last Update: September 28, 2016)
Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping (lifting, mowing, and raking) and gardening (digging, planting, and weeding). He is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. UCI Ethics Center awarded him with the distinction of Francisco Ayala Scholar (2014) for mentoring, presenting, researching, and writing. If you want to contact Scott, you may inquire or comment through e-mail: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.
He published in American Enterprise Institute, Annaborgia, Conatus News, Earth Skin & Eden, Fresh Start Recovery Centre, Gordon Neighbourhood House, Huffington Post, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, Jolly Dragons, Kwantlen Polytechnic University Psychology Department, La Petite Mort, Learning Analytics Research Group, Lifespan Cognition Psychology Lab, Lost in Samara, Marijuana Party of Canada, MomMandy, Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society, Piece of Mind, Production Mode, Synapse, TeenFinancial, The Peak, The Ubyssey, The Voice Magazine, Transformative Dialogues, Treasure Box Kids, Trusted Clothes.