November 25, 2020
When most people hear harm reduction, they think safer substance use. Harm reduction is much more than that.
At the Dr. Peter Centre, housing is harm reduction. It is a necessity that allows people living with HIV, homelessness, substance use, and mental illness to feel safe and secure. When participants walk through 1110 Comox Street in Vancouver, they enter a welcoming home. Here they can enjoy a hot meal, rest on a couch, and receive cuddles from Newton, the resident PADS-certified therapy dog.
Through the warmth of a community of care, the Centre provides basic necessities for life: nutrition, medical and therapeutic support and the ability to connect with others in a space free from judgment.
“The staff is one of the reasons I continue to come here every day,” says Thomas, a long-time participant at the Centre. “They are nonjudgmental. They accept everyone. And they make you feel like you matter.”
Since 1997, the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation has been providing day health programs, 24-hour licensed care residence, and an enhanced supportive housing program. The Centre is recognized as the first health care facility in North America to integrate supervised injections into its model of care.
Through the support of valued partners like BC Housing, the Centre is able to continue providing care for those who need it the most. Since its start, BC Housing has been a long-term partner and committed significant funds to support operations at the Centre.
As World AIDS Day approaches on December 1, the Dr. Peter Centre invites you to help keep the conversation around HIV alive. During the pandemic, it is important to help ensure that participants continue to receive the nutrition and support they need.
Visit drpeter.org/worldAIDSday to learn more.