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Hope on the Front Lines of the Drug Overdose Crisis

I learn that OnPoint requires round $4.5 million per 12 months to function around-the-clock. How troublesome or straightforward has it been to get the funding you want? 

Very troublesome. We’ve been staying afloat by fundraising, having the assist of a lot of superb people and some foundations. The a part of our work that’s checked out because the unlawful ingredient is the statement of drug use. As soon as individuals have used, we’re simply offering primary hurt discount companies. The statement is only a small a part of our work. 

Is the statement unlawful due to the federal “crack home statute”? 


Has there been any progress towards getting that statute repealed? 

Everyone’s ready for the outcomes of the Safehouse lawsuit. A Safehouse win wouldn’t eradicate the crack home statute, however it could undoubtedly open the door to point out how improper it’s. 

If you’re speaking to individuals who nonetheless say that overdose prevention facilities are enabling drug use, how do you reply? 

I in all probability have 5 totally different responses. The largest one for me recently is speaking about why these of us are going to make use of. The OPCs have nearly 3,100 registered contributors. We’re working with of us who’re already at present utilizing. We’re doing every thing attainable to maintain them alive. As soon as they are saying to us, at any level, that they need to cease, we reply instantly. We go into motion straight away, so we’re on no account enabling.

On a mean day, how many individuals come to OnPoint? 

If we’re speaking particularly in regards to the OPC, typically a couple of hundred. It varies. But when we’re speaking about the entire group, we see many, many extra individuals than that. 

When individuals come to OnPoint, what companies are they often looking for?

When individuals stroll into the area, straight away, most people who find themselves right here to go to go, “Wait a minute, the place’s the drug use?” The door opens, they usually see individuals having espresso, having a meal, watching a film. We serve as much as 5 meals a day. 

If somebody is available in to make use of the OPC, they’ll voice that, and in the event that they’ve been with us earlier than, we’ll signal them in. We ask a sequence of questions earlier than they enter: What are you going to make use of? How a lot? When you weren’t right here, the place would you utilize? A big share of them will say they might have used within the alley across the nook of their block, inside a restaurant rest room, or in a park close by. These are key questions, so we will report again to the neighborhood—we’ve had nearly 70,000 situations of drug use, and in order that’s 70,000 situations that didn’t occur within the streets. 

What occurs after consumption? 

They enter the room, they usually use. Once more, that is one program in an array of many. We’ve case administration, psychological well being companies, low-threshold medical companies, hepatitis testing and remedy, HIV testing and remedy. We’re opening a pharmacy, and that won’t solely service our individuals however all of the members of the neighborhood. We’ve a holistic program that gives acupuncture, acupressure, some bodywork, and sound remedy, and that’s additionally open to the entire neighborhood. We’re opening a barber store and salon freed from cost. 

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