“Needles, tie offs, water, condoms, vitamin C, cotton, cookers, info and instructions. We do two full milk crates of kits each time.”
But staff at PCHC rallied and took the loss of the grant as an opportunity to advocate for the importance of harm reduction and to dream even bigger for the future of harm reduction in Parkdale. The Executive Director Carla Ribiera began to ask questions. “When we lost the grant all the WHYs came up. Why aren’t we provincially funded? Why aren’t we core funded?” Over the years, many individual staff, peers and clients at PCHC have advocated for and practiced harm reduction consistently, weathering the storms of public controversy and unreliable funding. “We call ourselves ‘lifers’. It’s not something you can walk away from.” In the spring of 2015 PCHC announced it would “core fund” Harm Reduction programming at the centre. Parkdale’s proud history of Harm Reduction will continue.