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

Better COVID-19 testing results needed in the north

Former senior Northern Health official also wants work camps shut down

Closures and cancellations in the Bulkley Valley due to COVID-19

Many places and businesses have closed or reduced their hours

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Northern Health preparing ‘for a changing situation’ in response to COVID-19

The health authority is taking a number of measures to free up hospital capacity where possible

Concerns raised over publicly discarded masks, gloves

Deputy mayor says behaviour is simply unacceptable in time of elevated public health crisis

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Canadian COVID-19 update: Cases spike in Quebec & Ontario; Nine O’Clock Gun salutes health workers

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 12:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Cruise ships, one with COVID-19 on board, carry Canadians covertly through Panama Canal

Zaandam, Rotterdam pass through canal under cover of darkness in face of local protests

’The energy sector is destroyed beyond repair’: expert on COVID-19’s impact on economy

‘That’s never been heard of before; no one sells oil for $4 a barrel.’ – Dan McTeague

LifeLabs reducing public hours as it assists with COVID-19 testing

Coronavirus tests not done at B.C. patient centres, referrals only

24,000 Canadian Forces members ready for COVID-19 response: Defence Minister

No direct requests made by premiers yet, national defence minister says

IN DEPTH: How B.C. emptied its hospitals to prepare for COVID-19

Thousands of beds have been freed up, but patients and seniors have had to sacrifice

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Most Read