Helping Drug Users Help Themselves
Our Philosophy of Harm Reduction
We meet every person where he or she is. We recognize that people take risks and that change is never easy. We do not wait for people to choose to quit life-threatening behaviors. Instead, we create a safe haven where participants can consider their personal choices and begin to move toward manageable changes. All of our services are free and anonymous with no demands placed on those who need help. Many participants stay involved with SACHR for years, donating their time to our volunteer program, using our services, or dropping by to share their achievements. We offer a safe harbor, where they can return to replenish themselves.
We provide non-judgmental quality access to health resources to persons for whom the social stigma attached to their illicit drug use, HIV/HCV status, poverty, race, gender identity, homelessness, or health undermines their ability to access the services they require and deserve.
Our grassroots work began with a needle exchange program to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS among intravenous drug users in the South Bronx. This practice is now accepted as the international gold standard for disease prevention and endorsed by public health groups, such as the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association and the U.S. Surgeon General. Providing syringe access and disposal continues to be a critical part of our harm reduction efforts.
Today we are a multi-service agency providing a continuum of interventions that treats the whole person – at whatever stage they are. In addition to our street outreach, our center assists with basic needs, such as showers, food, and clothing. We offer a quiet sanctuary with stress-reduction services, including acupuncture, yoga and massage. We also provide educational workshops and mental health counseling. Referral relationships with other service organizations and colleagues give our participants choices – both in and outside of SACHR – as they make their journey toward a healthier and safer life.
SACHR in the News
- The New York Times: Bronx Needle Exchange, Once Dismissed, Finds Acceptance
- Mic: Street Level Activists Are Leading The Fight Against Fentanyl Deaths – And It’s Working
- The Media Sanctuary: Van Asher – Harm Reduction Innovations
- WNYC: How One Syringe Exchange Is Turning Drug Users Into Scientists
- The Fix: Bronx Harm Reduction Center Gives Out Fentanyl Test Strips To Heroin Users
- NPR: An Experiment Helps Heroin Users Test Their Street Drugs For Fentanyl
- The New York Times: Overdose Antidote Is Supposed to Be Easy to Get. It’s Not.
- AlterNet: How the War on Drugs Destroyed My Family
2017 Latino Justice PRLDEF presents the Latina Trailblazers Award to Joyce Rivera, Founder and Executive Director of St. Ann’s Corner of Harm Reduction
2016 Bronx Times Reporter presents the Commitment, Dedication and Excellence Award to Joyce Rivera, one of the Bronx Influential Women
2013 New York State Department of Health on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of syringe exchange programs in New York State recognizes St. Ann’s Corner of Harm Reduction for its extraordinary efforts and ongoing commitment to promote Harm Reduction practices, specifically syringe exchange, to ensure the health and well-being of substance users in New York State
2013 Bronx Community Health Network presented the Community Recognition Award to St. Ann’s Corner of Harm Reduction with sincere appreciation for your Contributions, Tireless Efforts, Service and Dedication to Community Service
2012 Puerto Rican Sun Communications Award for exemplifying the mission of informing, empowering and building communities
2011 Citation of Merit for outstanding contributions to the Bronx, the LGBTQ community and for tireless advocacy and support of the HIV/AIDS community, Ruben Diaz Jr, President of the Borough of the Bronx
2011 Office of the Mayor of the City of New York Proclamation in Recognition of Overdose Awareness Day and the Heroic People Who Have Acted To Save Lives From Overdose Death, Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of the City of New York
2011 Heroism Award for Invaluable efforts to reduce drug overdose deaths and for keeping their communities safe. For this and so much more, we honor you. Harm Reduction Coalition
2011 New York State Assembly Citation recognizing St. Ann’s Corner of Harm Reduction as an outstanding agency that is worthy of the esteem of both the Community and the great State of New York, Hon. Carmen E. Arroyo, New York State Assemblywoman, 84th District
2010 Dedication, Commitment, Giving of Self, Puerto Rican Initiative to Development & Empowerment/PRIDE
2007 Extraordinary Efforts and Ongoing Commitment to Promoting Harm Reduction, New York State Department of Health
2005 Joining Voices, Changing Lives, New York City HIV Prevention Planning Group, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
2001 Outstanding Community Partner in Recognition of World AIDS Day, New York City Department of Public Health
1997 Cielo Latino Fuerza Award, Latino Commission on AIDS
1996 Robert C. Randall Award for Achievement in the Field of Citizen Action, The Drug Policy Foundation
1993 Pioneering Service, New York State Department of Health/AIDS Institute