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.
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.
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. This event opens its doors to 60 community members as well as 25 invited ‘allies’ who participate in a series of presentations prepared by the participants of our yearly leadership program. The participants spend much of the leadership course learning facilitation and presentation skills and then go on to create presentations of their very own. These short, facilitated conversations are meant to provide program participants with skills in group facilitation and public speaking as well as providing the community as a whole an opportunity to engage in issues that affect people who use illicit drugs.
In October of 2013 the members of the SCSC organized and hosted a national symposium of representative from drug user groups. This ‘first of its kind’ event aided in supporting the Canadian Association of People who use Drugs (CAPUD) forward with new energy and membership.