More info about the Centre

In July 2020, New Westminster City Council directed City staff to work with Fraser Health on the establishment of an overdose prevention site and the implementation of a Safe Supply Program. Fraser Health has been actively exploring options for the establishment of a Health Contact Centre, which would include an overdose prevention site and other harm reduction services in New Westminster.

Fraser Health selected Purpose Society as the non-profit operator. With this partnership in place, Purpose Society has applied for a Temporary Use Permit to allow a Health Contact Centre at their existing location at 40 Begbie Street. The Centre would be located on the main floor of the building, which currently accommodates Purpose Independent School.

The Centre would be open from 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. daily and would provide:

  • witnessed consumption
  • drug testing
  • harm reduction supplies
  • take-home Naloxone Kits
  • training on Naloxone
  • education on safe drug use
  • nutritional information
  • a medical clinic
  • regular needle sweeps of the neighbourhood, and
  • referral to treatment centres and other economic and/or health services.

The Centre would be staffed by four workers each day. In addition, a Site Coordinator would be on-site five days per week to liaise with the City, local businesses and community organizations. The Coordinator would ensure that a Good Neighbour Policy is implemented immediately upon opening to help ensure the least possible disruption to the neighbourhood and work with the local business community on existing initiatives that have been launched with the objective of reducing stigma.

The existing multi-service agency model developed and used by Purpose Society is based on principles of the social determinants of health. This model recognizes that intersecting economic and social conditions, such as education, food security, housing and income, have a significant impact on individual health outcomes. With the addition of a Health Contact Centre, Purpose Society would expand its programming and effectively offer wraparound support services for vulnerable community members.

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