Christian leaders rally for downtown Windsor drug consumption site

Christian leaders rally for downtown Windsor drug consumption site

Breadcrumb Trail Links Local News The exterior of ‘Safepoint’ – the upcoming Consumption and Treatment Services (CTS) location at 101 Wyandotte St. East in downtown Windsor. Photographed 26 January 2023. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star Synopsis of the article

A group of more than 30 Windsor-Essex faith leaders have expressed their support for the opening of a controlled drug consumption facility in downtown Windsor as soon as possible and without relocation.

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“We believe this is a life-saving ministry and should not be delayed for any reason,” wrote George Bozanich, pastor of Emmanuel United Church in South Walkerville, and Rielly McLaren, pastor of Windsor Mennonite Fellowship, in an open letter to City Council.

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The letter includes 29 additional signatures of support from Christian church leaders across Windsor-Essex.

“As Christians, we believe that we are at our best when we love and support those most vulnerable among us,” the letter reads. “We recognize that people who use drugs are at risk during this opioid epidemic and that harm reduction is love.”

A new debate has arisen over “Safepoint” – the site for Consumption and Treatment Services (CTS) to open at 101 Wyandotte St. East – due to Ward 3 Coun. Renaldo Agostino’s request to withdraw Council support for the site.

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Contents of the article The floor plan of Safepoint – the controlled drug consumption facility at 101 Wyandotte St. East in downtown Windsor. Image provided by Windsor-Essex County Health Unit on January 26, 2023. Photo by Windsor-Essex County Health Unit /Windsor Star

After years of consultation and development, renovations are underway at the site, and the health unit expects to be operational this spring.

When it opens, Safepoint will provide a space where those who use opiates or other substances can anonymously bring their own drugs and use them under surveillance – reducing the likelihood of fatal overdoses.

The site was also developed to provide substance testing, harm reduction supplies such as sterile needles, basic medical supplies, and community addiction treatment instruction.

According to the letter, “faith groups of all denominations” have been willing to help the site’s customers.

“Places that provide shelter, resources, and connections are central to healing and thriving. This site can be one such place,” the letter reads. “People who do drugs are loved by God.”

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Agostino said his application is not against a CTS location, but against its location at 101 Wyandotte St. East.

The letter indicates that the site was “democratically” discussed and selected after extensive consultation with community partners, residents and businesses.

“This is mostly something the community has shown they want.”

A rally is expected to take place outside Windsor Town Hall on Monday at 3.30pm for those in favor of the site opening – and the rejection of Agostino’s motion.

The council meeting begins at 4 p.m

Health unit: Drug use facility in downtown Windsor to open this spring Windsor downtown councilor wants city to withdraw support for CTS site location Windsor councilors are lamenting a possible delay in the opening of the CTS site ad 5

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Text of a letter from 30 local faith leaders urging Windsor City Council not to withdraw support for the planned and approved (and much needed) downtown Consumption and Treatment Plant (CTS).

— Anneke Smit (@annekersmit) January 29, 2023 Share this article on your social networks Comments

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