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Community feedback wanted on additional supervised consumption site locations

Mar 10, 2021
BARRIE –The Supervised Consumption Site (SCS) Selection Advisory Committee has added new sites to the existing options for an SCS in Barrie and is currently looking for community feedback on these additional proposed sites.

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BARRIE –The Supervised Consumption Site (SCS) Selection Advisory Committee has added new sites to the existing options for an SCS in Barrie and is currently looking for community feedback on these additional proposed sites. An expanded search for additional potential sites was undertaken based upon consideration of feedback received from the consultation process to date. After the additional search process and a scoring exercise of the site location options, three new locations were identified for a future SCS.

People who live, work, own a business or go to school in Barrie are invited to offer their opinion on the newly proposed SCS locations, 11 Sophia St. W., 80 Bradford St., Unit 940, and 192 Bradford St. by filling out an online survey at www.smdhu.org/SCS. The survey is open from March 10 to March 31, 2021. To request a paper copy of the survey be mailed to you call 1-877-721-7520 ext. 7333 and leave a voice mail.

The survey, which is voluntary and anonymous, is one part of public consultations on a proposed SCS in downtown Barrie as a service for people who use drugs. In April, virtual neighbourhood consultations will also be offered for addresses of people who live, work or own a business nearby the potential site locations. More information about these sessions will be released in the coming weeks.

Between January and mid-September 2020 there were 94 confirmed and probable opioid-related deaths in Simcoe Muskoka, 47 of which were in the City of Barrie. The rate in Barrie was twice as high for this time period in 2020 to date compared to the average of 2017- 2019.

“Opioid use, addiction and overdose continue to be an urgent and complex problem in Barrie and the application for an SCS remains a high priority for our two organizations,” said Dr. Lisa Simon, Associate Medical Officer of Health for the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, which will be the co-applicant for the SCS along with the Canadian Mental Health Association Simcoe Branch, as the lead applicant.

Supervised consumption sites (SCS) help save lives and create safer communities. They provide a safe and clean space for people to use their own drugs under the care of nursing staff. They can connect clients to treatment for addictions and mental illness, and other health and social services.

“The Supervised Consumption Site will provide a safe and compassionate space to reconnect our most vulnerable citizens with society and much needed health and social services. We look forward to hearing your voices about where to make this happen,” said Dr. Valerie Grdisa, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Mental Health Association, Simcoe County Branch.

The application for a SCS is part of the Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy’s (SMOS) Action Plan. SMOS is a large partnership of agencies, organizations and individuals working to address the crisis of opioid use and overdose in the region. For more information on the SMOS Action Plan and related work, visit www.preventod.ca

For more information on SCSs, including the local SCS application history and the recent work of the Advisory committee, visit www.smdhu.org/SCS and our Frequently Asked Questions resource.

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CORRECTION/UPDATE:

Since this media release was issued, there has been some confusion created by the different addresses associated with the Innisfil Street location. When we conducted our property search, this site came to us as 80 Bradford Street, Unit 940. When we released the potential site locations included in this media release above, Mr. Steve Sperling (property owner/landlord) gave a public statement referring to the site location as 19 Innisfil Street. It has since been brought to the attention of the co-applicants by Mr. Sperling, Landlord and Rob Nicholson, General Manager of the Aerarium Group that the preferred reference to the site location should be 11 Innisfil St. recognizing that the legal address remains 80 Bradford St. Unit 940. Further explanation of the request to refer to the site as 11 Innisfil St. can be found in a letter provided to the Canadian Mental Health Association, as lead applicant by The Aerarium Group.

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