A sense of safety and self-worth serves as a cornerstone in changing high-risk behaviors and the foundation of the Palliative Care component.
Our services meet the basic survival needs of our participants and protect members of the community from injection and/or sexually related HIV and Hepatitis C transmission through Outreach and Syringe Exchange services.
Harm reduction is based on the practical reality of where a person is in his or her life on any given day. Our drop-in Common Room is open to anyone who wants a cup of coffee, a meal or a better pair of shoes.
High-risk lifestyles create a cyclical rollercoaster of instant gratification, followed by profound anxiety. For our participants, learning how to relax is a pre-condition before they can look at their reality in a way that may move them toward making changes.
Our unique sanctuary space serves as a safe and secure haven – away from the noise and dangers of the street. Here, people receive much-needed time and respect to simply sit alone in silence, listen to quiet music or just rest for a while. The sanctuary is also where participants can engage in alternative health approaches, such as acupuncture, massage, yoga and self-relaxation techniques.
While stress reduction focuses on the individual, participants have an opportunity to interact with others through classes, building a foundation for further development toward social integration.
Education and information resources help participants make informed lifestyle choices.
get a feeling of empowerment in finding solutions and making changes
They need support in learning how to navigate bureaucratic obstacles, like entitlements or housing; information to help them address health concerns and find access to medical treatment; and a feeling of empowerment in finding solutions and making changes.
Weekly workshops at our center provide preventive and updated health information on issues such as HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases. In addition to presentations from other agencies about various community services, we offer educational programs in:
- Safer sex
- Safer drug use
- Overdose reversal and prevention
- Anger management
- Substitute therapies
As participants move through our services, later stages help participants heal from past wounds and gather strength to face upcoming changes.
Open support groups, mental health assessments and social learning classes are essential components in changing high-risk behaviors. The support groups also respond to the human need for belonging, creating new and healthy communities where our participants find acceptance and regain self esteem.
Targeted group meetings are offered for women, men, transgender, probationers and parolees re-entering society, and those who are Hepatitis C and/or HIV/AIDS positive. Here participants learn how to deal with issues from the past so they can move forward.
The fifth component of harm reduction represents a cluster of interventions that reintegrate participants with society.
Many are re-entering a changed world, one they may not recognize. Intense case management monitors the individual's style and pace of change and helps him or her navigate what may be an unreceptive environment.
The transition from dependency to independence and self-direction is one of the most difficult to make. Progress is gradual, and steps are often small.
At the end of the day, the success of harm reduction is based on the value we place on community-based work. Behavior changes happen when participants receive steady and consistent support to help them find their place in society.