Health Contact Centre (overdose prevention site)

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At its regular meeting on March 29, 2021, City Council approved the Temporary Use Permit for the Health Contact Centre. The Centre is set to start operating the week of April 12, 2021.

Click here to view the Council meeting recording from March 29, and click here to read the Council package and all public correspondence received.



In July 2020, City Council directed City staff to work with Fraser Health to explore an Overdose Prevention Site in New Westminster. An application has now been received for a Health Contact Centre, including overdose prevention services, in downtown New Westminster. A Temporary Use Permit is required to establish the Centre.

What's being proposed?

The Lower Mainland Purpose Society has applied to become the operator for the New Westminster Health Contact Centre that will include overdose prevention services at their existing location on Begbie Street. The Health Contact Centre will provide a number of wrap-around services, such as witnessed consumption, drug checking, harm reduction supplies, peer employment opportunities, education on safer drug use, and will include regular needle sweeps of the surrounding area. These services will work in tandem with the existing services already offered by Purpose Society. This project is a partnership with Fraser Health, which initiated the creation of the Centre and will be providing the funding.

As a Health Contact Centre is not permitted use in the current zoning, a Temporary Use Permit is required. The Permit will allow the Centre to operate for three years and, after that time, may be extended. New Westminster City Council may attach conditions to the issuance of the permit to ensure that the impacts of the temporary use on existing businesses and properties are mitigated.

Where can I find more information?

Scroll down (under "More Information") for additional information about the services planned for the centre, hours of operation, staffing levels, etc. Also check out the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section on the right-hand menu of this page (or scroll down if on mobile). You can also access reports to Council under the Documents section in the right-hand menu.

Joint Applicant and City-led Virtual Consultation

Thank you to all who attended the virtual information session and/or provided written feedback.

All information received during the first feedback period was presented to Council for their use in consideration of the application in a report on March 1, 2021.

Information Session (Virtual)

The Purpose Society, Fraser Health and the City held an information session in a virtual format on February 17, 2021. At the session, project representatives presented the proposal and respond to questions. Thank you to all those who attended the session. Skip to 9:25 in the session recording video above to listen to the presentations from Fraser Health and Purpose Society. Please click here to access the presentation slides, or you can access them in the Documents menu on the right-hand side (or below on mobile).

At its regular meeting on March 29, 2021, City Council approved the Temporary Use Permit for the Health Contact Centre. The Centre is set to start operating the week of April 12, 2021.

Click here to view the Council meeting recording from March 29, and click here to read the Council package and all public correspondence received.



In July 2020, City Council directed City staff to work with Fraser Health to explore an Overdose Prevention Site in New Westminster. An application has now been received for a Health Contact Centre, including overdose prevention services, in downtown New Westminster. A Temporary Use Permit is required to establish the Centre.

What's being proposed?

The Lower Mainland Purpose Society has applied to become the operator for the New Westminster Health Contact Centre that will include overdose prevention services at their existing location on Begbie Street. The Health Contact Centre will provide a number of wrap-around services, such as witnessed consumption, drug checking, harm reduction supplies, peer employment opportunities, education on safer drug use, and will include regular needle sweeps of the surrounding area. These services will work in tandem with the existing services already offered by Purpose Society. This project is a partnership with Fraser Health, which initiated the creation of the Centre and will be providing the funding.

As a Health Contact Centre is not permitted use in the current zoning, a Temporary Use Permit is required. The Permit will allow the Centre to operate for three years and, after that time, may be extended. New Westminster City Council may attach conditions to the issuance of the permit to ensure that the impacts of the temporary use on existing businesses and properties are mitigated.

Where can I find more information?

Scroll down (under "More Information") for additional information about the services planned for the centre, hours of operation, staffing levels, etc. Also check out the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section on the right-hand menu of this page (or scroll down if on mobile). You can also access reports to Council under the Documents section in the right-hand menu.

Joint Applicant and City-led Virtual Consultation

Thank you to all who attended the virtual information session and/or provided written feedback.

All information received during the first feedback period was presented to Council for their use in consideration of the application in a report on March 1, 2021.

Information Session (Virtual)

The Purpose Society, Fraser Health and the City held an information session in a virtual format on February 17, 2021. At the session, project representatives presented the proposal and respond to questions. Thank you to all those who attended the session. Skip to 9:25 in the session recording video above to listen to the presentations from Fraser Health and Purpose Society. Please click here to access the presentation slides, or you can access them in the Documents menu on the right-hand side (or below on mobile).

Check out the FAQs on the right-hand menu of the Be Heard page before submitting your question. We may have already addressed your question.

Please add questions here and we will aim to reply within 3 business days. We will coordinate responses from both Fraser Health and Purpose Society. If we think your question would be of interest to others, we'll post your question and our response here. Thank you for taking the time to ask a question.

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    Are there Health Contact Centres in other jurisdictions? Provide specifics please - locations and addresses, and whether planned or operational.

    JB asked almost 2 years ago

    Thank you for your question. Officials from Fraser Health have provided the following response:

    The type of health contact centre proposed here would be the first of its kind for Fraser Health. This application is unique because of the integrated services provided along with witnessed consumption, such as drug checking, provision of harm reduction supplies, education on safer drug use, peer employment opportunities, and housing services.

    You can learn more about the location of other sites with publicly accessible witnessed consumption here: 

    https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/overdose/what-you-need-to-know/overdose-prevention 

    In addition to these locations are many more sites that offer witnessed consumption but are not publicly accessible.