Since 2010, we have been funded by MAC AIDS Fund to offer Street College in partnership with AIDS Vancouver Island (AVI). Street College engages people who use(d) illicit drugs in an educational process that confronts stigma related to drug use, HIV & Hepatitis C (HCV), and poverty; increases self-awareness and supports; and builds skills in peer support, advocacy, prevention and leadership.
There are several streams of street college including Anti-Stigma, Harm Reduction and Safer Use, and Leadership streams. Street College has come full circle from people who use drugs being recipients of education, to peers being key decision-makers, leaders and facilitators of Street College programming. Currently, the Anti-Stigma and Leadership Curriculum are fully peer-led.
Each year graduates of the Leadership course host a Peer Convergence in late June, leading a day-long series of workshops on issues ranging from safer use and access to health services to social profiling by police.
Harm Reduction and Supervised Consumption Services
SOLID has actively campaigned and advocated for harm reduction services, first for fixed-site needle exchange services 2008-2013, and now for supervised consumption. SOLID members are part of a Peer Advisory Committee to Victoria’s yes2scs campaign, doing community education as part of this ongoing struggle for essential health services for people who use illicit drugs. See yes2scs for more information.
Policing and Access to Health Services
Policing and Health services are two key areas where people who use illicit drugs face discrimination and social profiling. SOLID is active in promoting cultural safety in health care settings and advocating to end social profiling by police. See ‘latest news‘ for updates.