We at Kind wholeheartedly support Overdose Prevention Ottawa (OPO). This support is extended to all of OPO’s work, including their recent pop-up overdose prevention site. OPO is providing life-saving services that do not yet exist in Ottawa. These services are as vital as they are severely lacking in the city of Ottawa.
The provision of consensual supervision for those using drugs is rooted in an effort to eradicate high rates of overdose deaths. Those most susceptible to the dangers of overdose are often those who experience marginalization related to race or racialization, past and ongoing colonization, gender/sexuality, class, and ability. The folks who live these marginalization are our folks; they are part of our communities and they are deserving of attention and care. The current institutional response to the overdose crisis is too slow. Overdose deaths do not wait for bureaucracy. OPO is filling the massive gaps in services, the absence of which are sorely felt by those who need them.
In this letter of support, we want to encourage city of Ottawa officials to take this overdose crisis seriously. We also would like city officials to do justice to the courage of those who have generated this essential service from the ground up. We urge the city of Ottawa to direct concentrated effort toward addressing this crisis in a more timely manner. This process includes centering those who are most affected by the overdose crisis and trusting their knowledge and experiences. Those most impacted are experts in their own lives and have valuable contributions to provide. We encourage the city of Ottawa to show the same bravery exhibited by those most affected by the threat of overdose and those on the front lines who are addressing this threat.
We would also like to acknowledge the tireless work of all of the OPO volunteers. You are all doing critical work and we thank you for serving our communities.
If anyone would like to support OPO, you can donate to their Go Fund Me page, send a letter of support to the city of Ottawa, or become a volunteer. All of these resources can be found on the OPO website.
Supply needs at the overdose prevention site may change over time. You can stay up to date by following the Overdose Prevention Ottawa Facebook page.
The overdose prevention site can usually use the following donations:
- snacks (non-perishable, sealed)
- bottles of water (small preferable)
- juice boxes
- paper towels (unopened)
- fresh socks
- quiet portable power generators
- pre-made coffee with the necessary accessories (cups, creamers,sugar) at one of our shifts for our guests and volunteers
- making dinner for volunteers (10-12 servings)
- Sign up for the Meal train! [added Sept. 14]