TACKLING ADDICTION AND HOMELESSNESS
The last several years have been deadly for people living on the streets in Victoria. In 2017, 82 people were killed by fentanyl alone. More than ever, we need to act with compassion and determination to ensure the most vulnerable of us are not left behind and abandoned. It is not possible to police away homelessness – but we can house and help the people living on our streets.
HOUSING FIRST APPROACH
Support Housing First and other approaches that prioritize getting people off of the streets and into pathways to treatment and recovery. Housing is not the complete solution, but it is the best first step.
ENDING YOUTH HOMELESSNESS
Tackle youth homelessness head on with 156 new units for the 156 youth aged 15-24 years counted in the 2018 Greater Victoria homelessness count.
PREVENT OVERDOSE DEATHS
Prevent more overdose deaths by ensuring all frontline municipal staff have training to confidently respond to opioid overdoses, and by establishing an emergency response fund to support grants for community responses to the overdose epidemic.
HARM REDUCTION WORKS
Harm-reduction approaches like the needle exchange are working - opioid deaths are tending downwards, but we need to go further to ensure that users of drugs are not forced into the shadows where they are more vulnerable. The city should support street level drug testing by Island Health to help people identify contaminated drug supply and prevent deaths on our streets. Ultimately, we support advocating for decriminalization of possession of drugs to the federal government - drug addiction needs to be treated as a medical issue, not a criminal issue.
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