By Jensen, Randy on August 18, 2020.
The provincial government is providing further details on how the new mobile supervised consumption site will operate in Lethbridge.
The new mobile site, which is based in a Winnebago-style vehicle parked next to the Lethbridge Shelter and Resource Centre, was set to begin operations in the city as of Monday.
In response to a media inquiry, the office of Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Jason Luan provided the following information.
The overdose prevention site will be open seven days a week for 20 hours a day. Its operating hours will be between 8 a.m. and 4 a.m. daily. There will be three supervised consumption booths available for use.
“Based on the utilization data we’ve received from the current supervised consumption site operator, the capacity will be sufficient to serve all ARCHES clients,” says Kassandra Kitz, press secretary to Minister Luan.
The new site will work in partnership with the Lethbridge Shelter and Resource Centre, and will put a heavy emphasis on “access to recovery-oriented supports, such as transitional shelter, detox and referral to treatment.”
The minister’s office also states as part of its longer-term strategy, there will be additional recovery coaches hired in Lethbridge to help build connections with people who are struggling with addictions and connect them to detox, treatment and recovery.
Critics of the mobile SCS are skeptical it will have the capacity to meet the need in Lethbridge previously provided by ARCHES. Supporters of harm reduction in the community will be holding a peaceful “Die-in” protest at city hall at 5 p.m. on Aug. 31, the day the ARCHES-run SCS is scheduled to close for good in the city.