Safe drug consumption site approved for Saskatoon

A safe drug consumption site for Saskatoon is slated to open in early 2020.
 The Executive Director of Aids Saskatoon says the main reason for the new-year launch is to ensure Saskatoon City Police have funding and staffing in place.
Jason Mercredi also says working in cooperation with police while continuing to hold open houses to keep the community informed are crucial to making the operation accepted and successful.
He feels based on visits to sites in B-C, Alberta and Ontario communication breakdowns are the main reason sites in other cities have failed.
Mercredi stresses they are already addressing the biggest local complaint of finding needles around the neighbourhood and plan to increase clean-up efforts as they get closer to opening by patrolling the area frequently including school grounds..
Aids Saskatoon also plans to launch a formal multi-organizational complaint procedure in the fall.
Mercredi and police officials plan to tour a pair of Vancouver facilities next week to find out what works and what doesn’t.
The Aids Saskatoon Executive Director emphasizes that the site is not just for drug consumption.  Mercredi states it will also offer connections between users and the support services they need to ensure they don’t fall through the cracks.
The site in the former Pleasant Hill Bakery is being renovated according to city codes for health facilities.
Health Canada’s approval of the Saskatoon site took effect July 31st.

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