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Neighbourhood Consultation Sessions re: SCS Site Options

Simcoe Muskoka Health is inviting the public to participate in a virtual (online) neighbourhood consultation, to give feedback on how the four proposed Supervised Consumption Service (SCS) locations can best meet the needs of the clients using the services and the surrounding residential and business community. Please visit their Neighbourhood Consultation Sessions page to sign up for ONE of:


  • Friday, April 9 (10am-12pm)

  • Wednesday, April 14 (3-5pm)

  • Thursday, April 15 (5-7pm), or

  • Monday, April 19 (6-8pm).


You will be asked at sign-up to select ONE site you wish to discuss in-depth (although participants will be given a chance to give feedback on all 4, there will also be "breakout groups" set up for feedback on each potential site).


The four locations under consideration are:


  • 110 Dunlop St. W., Unit 4

  • 11 Sophia St. W.

  • 19 Innisfil St. (previously referred to as 80 Bradford St., Unit 940)

  • 192 Bradford St.


The criteria for site selection (from Ministry of Health’s application criteria, plus Site Selection Committee additions) include:

  • Proximity to clients – i.e., walking distance (1km) from where open drug use is known to occur, and easily accessible by public transit (boundary map here)

  • Wrap-around, mandatory services (i.e., onsite or nearby access to addictions treatment, mental health, primary care, and social services)

  • Sensitive land uses (proximity to child care centers, parks, schools)

  • Must include service intake, consumption, post-consumption, and other mandatory service areas, hand hygiene sink and foot wash station, and accessible washrooms

  • Landlord approval and financially viable

In light of those application requirements in place, here are some of the pros and cons we’ve come up with for each, after speaking with members of the community. (If you know of more, please get in touch and we can add them to the list.)


110 Dunlop St. W., Unit 4

Pros

  • In the "red zone" of the site selection boundary (i.e., meeting the requirements to be in an area of highest need, based on mortality and morbidity data), yet removed from core of downtown businesses

  • wrap-around services – surrounded by Canadian Mental Health Association, Canadian Addiction Treatment Pharmacy, Mental Health & Addiction Services of Simcoe County, plus numerous medical and dental services

  • easily accessible by public transit

  • not near any schools

  • not in a primarily residential area

  • rear entrance to building (added privacy for clients)

  • space can accommodate multiple uses – room to grow

  • other businesses in building support the SCS (e.g., DRORS endorsement on www.voicesofdowntown.com)

  • kitty-corner to the McDonalds, which has become an unofficial injection site

  • can help address many of the downtown businesses' concerns (needle disposal, public drug use, etc.)

Cons

  • BIA previously indicated they will not support this site

11 Sophia St. W.

Pros

  • Location is within “red zone” (although at edge)

  • Not in the main shopping district of downtown, so likely less of a fight from the BIA

  • More housing is about to be built close by, several rooming houses nearby, not far from Queen’s Park, so reasonably accessible

  • Property has its own yard, so could use outdoors for inhalation (which wouldn’t be possible in any of the other sites, without expensive ventilation renovations) – also the therapeutic effect of having a nice outdoor space

  • Lots of potential for the building – layout allows for renovations and modifications in the future

Cons

  • No space for a kitchenette, or foot care room in current configuration (but there are 3 bedrooms on the second level currently leased for a year -- may be room to expand)

  • Land is on an incline, which may be difficult for people to walk to if they have mobility issues.

  • Second floor (where the 3 bedrooms are) is currently inaccessible outside of stairs, would not be feasible to put in an elevator or ramp in this building to 2nd floor.

19 Innisfil St., Unit 940

(previously identified as 80 Bradford St.)

Pros

  • Wrap-around services nearby

  • Open space, customizable

  • Very close to Milligan’s Pond

Cons

  • 80 Bradford would have been (barely) within search boundaries, however the actual entrance off 19 Innisfil is outside the site selection boundaries – and likely too far west to be easily accessible for the immediate needs

  • Only one entrance (two needed)

  • Would have to be renovated to meet accessibility needs

  • Unit is only connected from Innisfil Street, on 2nd floor – in order to reach the other services, they would have to go outside and walk around the block to the front entrance.

  • Very expensive

  • Only a one-year lease, so precarious tenancy -- condos about to be build directly across the street, so there may be pressure to sell or not renew lease after first year

  • Building maintenance and security staff have been increasingly hostile to homeless in the building. Owner has previously refused to allow the Busby van to stop at any of his properties, believed to have previously been opposed to an SCS in the building.

  • Proximity to those using services for suboxone or methadone could be problematic – “pinching the line between two very important things for people who are not ready for treatment and people in treatment”

  • Neighbour has already taken out a petition and media articles against supportive housing in the neighbourhood – hostile surroundings in area already.

192 Bradford St.

Pros

  • A very nice space

Cons

  • Outside of required boundary

  • Too far away from existing need, people not likely to walk that far to use it

  • Does not meet “wrap-around services” requirement, as there are no services nearby


Again, though, our bottom line is that Barrie needs this life-saving service in place right away, and we will support whatever the experts at the CMHA and SMDHU decide best fits the criteria for their application. You can get updates on the site selection and application process at the SMDHU’s website


If you haven’t already, please sign our petition to council (to support a Supervised Consumption Site in Barrie) at http://chng.it/4SYcKFVHvz




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