In Victoria, services for drug users not keeping pace, advocates say

The number of supervised consumption sites and services for people who use drugs in Victoria has grown, but it’s not keeping pace with need, advocates say.

The need for greater access to supervised consumption sites couldn’t be ignored, said Fred Cameron, director of programs at Solid, a grassroots organization staffed by people with lived experience of drug use.

More information in the article below:

Services for drug users not keeping pace as crisis deepens – Victoria Times Colonist

Solid Staff Helps Connect Family


Sarasin offered her his personal phone number and to help connect mother and son. When and if her son is ready, he said, he’d help find him a treatment program — drive him there and stay connected with him through the process.


“We’re down here every day,” he told her. “We’re the only group that gets out to all the parks every day, whether it’s my team or the mobile team or the Indigenous team.”

More information in article link below:

Kelowna mother scours Victoria streets for her son – Victoria Times Colonist

Newly appointed Pandora Avenue caretakers help transform troubled Victoria street: ‘The mood is better’


“I used to use these services four years ago, I was struggling in active addiction. Since then I’ve reclaimed my life, I’ve gotten my children back, and people need to see that,” he said.

Sarasin and his coworker Katherine Francis are the new Pandora corridor caretakers. It’s a pilot project run by SOLID Outreach in partnership with the City of Victoria and funded with a $125,000 grant from the Union of B.C. Municipalities.

Interview video and more information in the link below.

2023 – Pandora Avenue ‘caretakers’ help noticeably transform troubled street (

Gold Apple Award for Harbour Safe Consumption Site and Service

“The opioid overdose epidemic has created a major strain on both public health and emergency response resources, and is beyond the capacity or scope for one agency or organization to effectively respond on its own. In response, BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS), Island Health, SOLID Outreach, and Lookout Housing and Health Society joined forces to develop an innovative model for a safe consumption site for the Greater Victoria area that integrates primary care, mental health substance use services, and supervised injection services all under one roof. ”

“For working together to eliminate obstacles to accessing live-saving supports and services, we award the Gold Apple in Collaborative Solutions to The Harbour Community Health and Wellness Centre.”

“The 13th Annual BC Health Care Awards Monday, June 24th, 2019.”

Past Events

Street Deaths are Preventable: week of education and action (June 16 -19 2015)

On June 16 – 19, join us for a week of education and action to end poverty-related deaths in BC.

Between 2006 and 2013, at least 281 people died on the streets in British Columbia. Due to under-reporting, that number is likely much much higher. Victoria has the highest number of street deaths per capita in BC. In a four month period, 30 people died on the streets of this city.

These deaths are preventable. Not only are there tangible causes, but viable solutions. We need adequate health services, social housing, and harm reduction services. We need all levels of government to commit to eliminating poverty and preventing street deaths. See below for event info – see you there!

Tuesday June 16th — 4th Annual Convergence by and for people who use(d) illicit drugs
First Met Hall, 932 Balmoral, 9am – 3pm
open to people who use(d) illicit drugs

Wednesday June 17th — Moving Forward: Public Forum on Supervised Consumption Services
6:30pm – 8pm, First Met Hall (932 Balmoral)

Thursday June 18th — ‘Death as a Social Justice Issue: Perspectives on Death and Dying on the streets of Victoria’: panel discussion
2 – 4 pm, Central library Community Rm (732 Broughton)

Friday June 19th — ‘Street Deaths are Preventable Deaths’ Rally
Noon, Quadra@Blanshard

More about the Wednesday Night Panel

We’ve invited speakers to share with us what SCS could look like in Victoria, as part of a larger discussion of how communities can work together to support this essential health service
Marianne Alto Councillor, City of Victoria & Director, CRD
Katie Lacroix Chair, yes2scs Peer Advisory Committee
Bernie Pauly Scientist, Centre for Addictions Research of BC
Bruce Wallace, Assistant Professor, UVic School of Social Work
Moderated by Gregor Craigie of CBC’s On the Island

4th Convergence by/for People Who Use(d) Illicit Drugs (June 16, 2015)

The Peer Convergence is a one-day, multi-workshop event held at the First Metropolitan Church in Victoria. It is a grassroots initiative focused on community building by and for people who use illicit drugs (PUID) and who face significant marginalization, stigma and barriers to health. Last year, over 50 PUID and 25 health and social service providers came together to learn from each other.

This event is an opportunity for graduates of Street College courses to put their advocacy and teaching skills into practice – all part of building local capacity, and a collective voice for change in regional/national health and drug policy and harm reduction services.

Workshops over the years have included:  safer use, harm reduction 101, supervised consumption services, OD prevention, social profiling

Community Responses to Criminalization (Nov 2014)

In November 2014, SOLID co-hosted a community convergence on the criminalization of poverty. Over 100 people in attendance, with reps from BCYADWS, SOLID, VANDU, Ankors, Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society, Committee to End Homelessness Victoria and others. Stay tuned for the follow-up meeting, with the aim of developing a strong BC-wide network opposing police targeting of the poor.

Concept paper and agenda