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    Because public health can’t always get down here in time.  Because there’s a big rise in opiates.   Because it’s a safe place to get a drink of water. Because no one gets made fun of.   Because I learned CPR and how to put naloxone in.  Because I don’t want to get HIV.  Because it’s a place to return used needles.  Because it’s not just about the needles.  Because when your friends do drugs you have to have a third eye.  Because then people don’t go missing or disappear.  Because you  can’t always afford to wait.  Because it takes a long time to trust.   Because we met every single Monday.  Because it was F.U.N.   Because there’s no vaccine for Hep C.   Because  I used to put my used needles under my mattress.     Because I felt like a dirty person.      Because no one was paying attention to crack.   Because a death a week was not uncommon.   Because in the nineties they tried to kick us off  the street corners.    Because guys like us who’ve worked all our  lives have arthritis and sores on our feet.   Because it’s something we walk with pride.    Because it’s Parkdale.   Because it’s non-toxic.   Because you shouldn’t be afraid to speak about what’s going on.   Because we do what we need to do.   Because I remember when it was scary to talk about drugs.    Because  it was the first in the city.   Because it’s a human right.


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