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Moss Park supervised injection site gets a heated trailer courtesy CUPE Ontario

Click to play video: 'Moss Park overdose prevention site demands government action as winter nears' Moss Park overdose prevention site demands government action as winter nears
WATCH: Moss Park overdose prevention site demands government action as winter nears – Nov 1, 2017

The overdose prevention and supervised injection site at Toronto’s Moss Park can continue its activities into the cold winter months, thanks to the donation of a heated trailer by Ontario’s largest union.

Since Aug. 12, a team of over 150 volunteers has set up tents in the park, treating drug users for overdose, handing out Naloxone kits and providing supervised injection facilities.

In just over a month and a half, the unsanctioned site helped stop or reverse 85 overdoses, provided a space for nearly 2,000 supervised injections and distributed over 1,000 Naloxone kits, the public health gains prompting the city to turn a blind eye.

WATCH: ‘We’re in a crisis right now and we need to have a crisis response’: harm reduction activist

Click to play video: '‘We’re in a crisis right now and we need to have a crisis response’: harm reduction activist' ‘We’re in a crisis right now and we need to have a crisis response’: harm reduction activist
‘We’re in a crisis right now and we need to have a crisis response’: harm reduction activist – Sep 18, 2017

But the arrival of winter threw into question the site’s future.

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Although the City of Toronto urged the federal government to approve an indoor site, there were fears that the process could take months.

“We need indoor space immediately — we cannot wait,” volunteer nurse Leigh Chapman, who lost her brother to an overdose a few years ago, told Global News on Nov. 1.

READ MORE: Moss Park overdose prevention site pushing for indoor space as temperatures fall

Enter CUPE Ontario.

On Monday, the union said it had rented a winterized trailer, citing an “absence of government leadership” for prompting it to step in.

“Our government needs to do more than track and talk about the opioid crisis. People are dying and that requires action,” CUPE Ontario president Fred Hahn said in a press release. “Thanks to the volunteers in Moss Park — they’ve saved 106 people from dying of an overdose. Their work must continue and that is why we stepped up to provide a safe space for the winter.”

READ MORE: Toronto opens permanent supervised injection site in downtown core

Hahn warned that it was high time the government stepped up to provide a permanent solution, in the wake of the opioid crisis gripping the city’s vulnerable populations.

“It’s time they stop dancing around the subject and act,” Hahn said.

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