We are community members, and service providers in Ottawa who have come together to respond to an overdose crisis that has taken so many of our friends and loved ones from us.
This is a health emergency that requires action.
Ethically, we are obligated to respond, we have no other choice. It is shameful that health organizations in our city have not responded to this crisis. And we are obliged to take action.
In the last year, a countless number of pop-up overdose prevention sites have opened without any formal approval. Twenty-four in BC and last week in Toronto’s Moss Park to respond to this crisis. In Vancouver alone, these sites have seen 147,705 visits, and 770 overdoses that were reversed.
We are inspired by the actions taken in these cities and are determined to provide our community with the same life-saving service it needs. We also encourage others, in their communities, to do precisely the same.
We acknowledge that Overdose Prevention Ottawa operates on unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin territory. Those most hit and impacted by this crisis continue to be those marginalized by deep poverty, racism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, and ongoing colonization.
In response, we aim to provide an inclusive space for all members of our community.