North Park Drop-in

Our North Park Drop-in space has been our home-base since 2018, beginning as a daily support group meeting space and starting point for our street outreach teams. In 2021 we were able to purchase the building to expand our capabilities to better meet the needs of our street community membership. We lease space to UVic’s Drug Checking program on the Cook St side of our building, increasing again the amount of on-site health services available to individuals who access our programs. Together these spaces provide a very accessible, low-barrier one-stop location for individuals who often have nowhere else to go.  This space offers refuge from the elements (hot or cold), and temporary respite from being repeatedly shuffled along throughout the day. Our outreach staff provides support, including accessing housing and health services.

Engagement with our experiential staff is a critical component of our work. Members who walk in can see themselves, and their own potential for increased stability and health in a broader community through the connections they make with our staff, and their shared experience of the challenges of life on the street. People often come in for harm reduction supplies and other immediate services, then become volunteers. They begin by working short shifts with others who used to be volunteers who are now doing regular shift work. They see the potential to move up within the organization and secure employment that assists them in helping their community while building up security in their own lives: Including housing security, steady income, and regular access to health services. Solid’s focus is on building a strong community of individuals with big hearts, who have been hurt in some way or another, to work together to to heal and assist their broader community in healing and taking care of each other. From the start we’ve shown our commitment to being a positive part of our neighborhood by giving people who already live in this area a safe space to be in community while accessing life-saving services. We work with our members to make sure everyone is accessing services within our indoor spaces or gaining access to other off-site services instead of congregating on the street.

Services SOLID at our Drop-in space at 1056 North Park include:

  • We offer daily groups, including: Art as therapy, writing, music, HEP-C/HIV education, grief and loss, indigenous women’s group, and indigenous wellness circle groups.
  • Distribution of all types of harm reduction supplies (naloxone, safe smoking and injection supplies).
  • Naloxone training.
  • Health Education, including: HEP-C testing, HIV information and testing referrals, safer sex, and safer substance use practices.
  • Peer Support, including: Assisting with identification paperwork, accessing social assistance, persons with disability supports, assistance accessing and maintaining housing, access and accompaniment to detox/treatment, and navigating our court and legal systems.
  • A safe quiet space that provides refuge from the elements (hot or cold).

On-site collaborations include:

  • Drug Checking – working with Dr. Bruce Wallace (UVic/CISUR) in research aimed at providing accurate and reliable drug testing to locate and identify fentanyl in drug supply.
  • Cultural safety – working with Dr. Bernie Pauly (UVic/CISUR) in educating health service providers in best practices for ensuring accessibility of hospitals and primary care to people who use drugs and who are street-involved.