Penticton’s only mobile public overdose prevention site is in need of some help.
The non-profit group Penticton Overdose Prevention Society started operating its mobile site in June to assist in combating the city’s opioid pandemic.
Penticton is on track to record the city’s most overdose deaths in a single year in 2021 while in B.C. as a whole five individuals a day die from an overdose.
The society got together to purchase a bus and with community donations outfitted the vehicle to offer safe consumption services for between 10 to 30 people a night.
However, the operation of the bus is expensive and expenses such as gas, insurance and supplies are financially weighing on the society.
So, Desiree Franz, one of the co-founders of the Penticton and Area Overdose Prevention Society (P+OPS), has started a GoFundMe to help offset the costs of running the bus.
“We are relying on the generosity of others to help keep us operational. We can only offer services for injection drug use however we are hoping to be able to offer inhalation services in the future,” she stated.
The non-profit also offers, naloxone training, neighbourhood cleanup, sharps/paraphernalia disposal, referrals to local agencies, advocation, first aid support as well as hands out water, coffee and snacks to those who use the services.
The GoFundMe has a goal of $2,000 and already with just 10 donators more than $700 has been raised.
“There’s a large demographic of people who don’t have access to the overdose prevention sites we currently have in Penticton… in a city where there’s a lot of people who use substances, only a small portion have access to those facilities,” Franz said back in June.
The idea behind overdose prevention (or supervised injection) sites is simple: provide people with a safe space and clean supplies to use opioids and monitor them on-site with the opioid reversing drug naloxone on-hand in case of an overdose.