VIHA has granted contracts to two community-based organizations for the Island’s first approved supervised consumption service slated to open at 914 Pandora Ave. in late April. Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS

Island Health grants contracts for Victoria’s first approved supervised consumption service

SOLID and Lookout Housing and Health societies to provide harm reduction services

The Vancouver Island Health Authority has chosen two community-based service providers to lead harm reduction services at the Pandora Wellness Centre, the Island’s first approved public supervised consumption site.

In December, the regional health provider issued requests for proposals to staff the centre at 941 Pandora Ave. At the time, Dr. Richard Stanwick, VIHA chief medical officer, said those with lived experience and familiarity working in harm reduction would be ideal candidates.

SOLID Outreach Society and the Lookout Housing and Health Society have secured the contracts and will soon begin to hire and train staff, who will work alongside clinical and health care professionals including nurses and paramedics.

RELATED: Island Health sends out call to staff supervised consumption service in Victoria

Suzanne Germain, strategic advisor with Island Health said VIHA is “excited to work in partnership with these community agencies.”

“This is an important, high profile service,” she said. “And the front line community agencies know best how to work with a marginalized, vulnerable population.”

While the main service will be harm reduction and supervised consumption, Germain said other integrated services like education and health promotion will also be part of the centre, as well as referrals, engagement and creating connections for treatment plans.

“The City of Victoria has been involved and been supportive of this process, as has VicPD,” she added.

Since 2003, SOLID – a peer-run organization of people who use drugs – has worked to distribute safe drug supplies, recover used supplies and conduct naloxone training.

Founded in 1971, Lookout Housing and Health Society provides low barrier housing and support services through community outreach on the Lower Mainland. Along with programming designed to develop work skills, the society developed and currently operates supervised consumption services in Surrey and on the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver.

Renovations at the Pandora Wellness Centre continue on time and on budget, scheduled for completion in late April. Following a final inspection from Health Canada, the 10-booth permanent supervised consumption service will open shortly thereafter.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

VIDEO: Victoria immigrant centre’s refugee housing lands in Oak Bay

Partnership project officially announced for World Refugee Day

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

Rebirth of downtown cultural festival coming to Victoria in July

Folktoria aims to pick up where Folkfest left off

Plans rejigged for new Crystal Pool and Wellness Centre

Visitors to open house see plans for fitness facility, main pool with movable floor

Two people taken into custody after TD bank robbery

VicPD say an individual left the building with an undisclosed amount of cash

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

50 new fires sparked in B.C. after lightning strikes across province

Similar conditions seen at the beginning of 2017 wildfire season

POLL: Do you have a family doctor?

“I don’t have a family doctor,” is an all too familiar phrase… Continue reading

B.C. woman graduates high school at age 92

Nanaimo’s Joan Deebank the oldest high school graduate ever in B.C., as far as ministry can confirm

B.C. Appeal Court rules lottery winner must be paid back $600,000 loan

Enone Rosas won $4.1 million in a lottery in 2007 and loaned a portion to a friend

B.C. man surprised after used needle falls from sky

A Vernon resident said a syringe fell out of the sky and landed at his feet

Liquor review finds issues with B.C. wholesale monopoly

Report calls for ‘conflict of interest’ in system to be fixed

Police look for driver of blue Jeep who may have helped at fatal crash

A 19-year-old girl was killed in a crash near Delta on June 2

Conservationists, industry react to fish farm provisions

New provincial regulations to take effect by 2022

Most Read