VIHA has put out a request for proposals to staff the Island’s first supervised consumption service slated to open at 914 Pandora Street in spring 2018. Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS

Victoria gets approval for supervised consumption site

This will be the first permanent facility on Vancouver Island

Health Canada has given its approval to a new supervised consumption site opening in Victoria.

It will be located at 844 Johnson Street and is intended for residents and registered guests to help prevent and reverse overdoses in the region. This is the same location now used as a low-barrier housing facility the Province bought and renovated as a home for those that had been living in ‘Tent City’ behind the Victoria courthouse.

Read More: Police keeping close eye on Johnson Street community

“Supervised consumption services reduce harm from drugs and save people’s lives,” said Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health Chief Medical Health Officer. “The opioid crisis has been devastating for our Island communities and it is our responsibility as health care providers to offer more supports and resources where they are needed.”

The new consumption site will be the first permanent one to open on Vancouver Island and will be operated by Island Health and PHS Community Services Society. It will immediately begin offering supervised consumption services.

Read More: Island Health pushes forward with supervised consumption sites

A temporary overdose prevention site has been operating at the same location for the past year, but officials hope this new permanent operation will become part of a distributed, multi-site model in Victoria, and will strengthen links with treatment and recovery services both within the Johnson Street building and among other community-based services delivered by Island Health and other agencies.

“We are thrilled that services provided at Johnson Street will become a permanent part of a network of sites in Victoria,” said Jennifer Breakspear, Executive Director, PHS Community Services Society. “This will ensure ongoing access to supports that are desperately needed in our community, and will be an important addition to the continuum of services and support we provide to Johnson Street Community residents.”

The site will include a registration area where people can access harm reduction supplies, a consumption area that is monitored by trained staff, and a post-use area for further monitoring and engagement.

According to Island Health, there are currently nine temporary supervised consumption sites/overdose prevention sites in its service area. Over the past year there have been more than 66,200 visits to these with 579 overdoses and zero deaths.

Another site application at 941 Pandora Avenue was approved in August. That site requires further renovations and is expected to open in the spring/summer of 2018.

More to come…

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mary Lowther column: Growing out your own seeds

Some crops like tomatoes don’t cross pollinate well

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Buyers across the province will soon be able to pick up a… Continue reading

Minivan driver’s speed a factor in fatal 2018 Malahat crash

Driver was travelling at 101 km/h in a construction zone

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

BREAKING: Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

Most Read