Light The Way campaign hits $160K target to renovate Peterborough opioid response hub

Click to play video: 'Renovations complete at Peterborough opioid hub, opening January'
Renovations complete at Peterborough opioid hub, opening January
Peterborough's opioid response hub is another step closer to opening its doors. Thanks to a successful fundraising campaign, renovations to the building have been completed. And come January, people will be able to access the care they need all in one spot. Jessica Nyznik reports. – Dec 7, 2021

The Light The Way campaign to renovate a new opioid response hub in downtown Peterborough has reached its $160,000 goal, organizers announced Tuesday.

Launched in September, the campaign aimed to raise funds to renovate the former Greyhound bus station at 220 Simcoe St. into a safe consumption and drug treatment site. The campaign wrapped up on Nov. 30.

Initially announced in October 2020, the opioid response hub in June received approval from Health Canada to provide a safe, hygienic space for people to use drugs under the supervision of health professionals to prevent opioid poisoning deaths. The site is still awaiting additional funding from the Ontario government and thus no timeline has been set when services — including wraparound health services — will begin (see below for a list of services planned).

However, representatives on Tuesday are aiming to begin rollout in January.

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The Light The Way campaign was launched by Fourcast and the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough (CFGP).

“Fourcast acknowledges the success of the Light The Way fundraising campaign as an overwhelming outpouring of support from a compassionate community that wants to mobilize all efforts to end the loss of life associated with opiate poisonings,” said Donna Rogers, Fourcast executive director. “We have a space that is turnkey for the operation of a consumption and treatment service (CTS), and we await a long overdue response to our application.”

Jennifer Debues, CFGP executive director, says the three month campaign was a huge success.

“In just a few months, we received over 100 donations from individuals, half a dozen from local businesses, a few from churches and professional associations, a grant from the City of Peterborough, plus contributions from four endowed funds held at the Community Foundation,” she said. “The campaign to Light the Way to $160K really has been a community effort and I am grateful to everyone who has contributed.”

Click to play video: 'Fundraising campaign to support renovations for Peterborough safe consumption and treatment centre'
Fundraising campaign to support renovations for Peterborough safe consumption and treatment centre

Among the organizations involved in the hub include PARN, the 360 Degree Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic, Peterborough City-County Paramedics and the Mobile Support Overdose Resource Team (MSORT).

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“Today’s announcement is one more step in our battle to combat opioid addictions and their negative impacts on our community,” said Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith on Tuesday. “Although it is a positive step that we can celebrate today, there is still much more work to be done and I look forward to working collaboratively to continue making forward steps to get the full suite of supports that our community needs.”

The hub will provide several services on-site and within the community.

Health supports:

  • Virtual Care Clinic
  • ON Telemedicine Network
  • Wound Assessment
  • Harm Reduction Supplies

Treatment supports:

  • Opiate Replacement Therapy
  • RAAM Clinic Detox
  • AA/NA Groups
  • Residential Treatment
  • Community Treatment

Social supports:

  • Counselling
  • Children’s Aid Society
  • Court

Income supports:

  • Old Age Security
  • Ontario Works
  • Ontario Disability Support Program
  • Canada Pension Plan
  • Taxes

Housing supports:

  • Ontario Disability Support Program
  • Housing Resource Centre
  • Shelter

Cultural supports:

  • New Canadian Centre
  • Indigenous Services

“We are so appreciative of our community members, businesses and foundations that recognize and supported this effort to improve service providers’ collective response to the current opiate crisis,” Rogers said.

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“It’s clear that our community wants better options for responding. We hope this evidence of community support moves us closer to a response to our pending CTS application.”

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