photo by @the_werst_
photo by @the_werst_
What is Insite?
In 2003 Vancouver launched In-Site; A facility located in the heart of Vancouvers Downtown East Side in which injection drug users would be provided with clean needles to inject in a supervised setting. The goal of in-site is not only providing a safe way and place to inject; they also strive to provide other health care services for those struggling with addiction and HIV / AIDS. Funded by Vancouver Coastal health Insite faced many legal barriers and still to this day operates in a rather legal grey area in the attempt to maintain the facility in harm reduction model techniques and advocacy for treatment. But the numbers don’t lie and a great change was brought upon the most vulnerable community in British Columbia.
Vancouvers Aids Epedemic:
“When you walked around the West End, it would hit you in the face how many people there were with AIDS. In the mid-1990s, we were diagnosing up to 800 people a year, now it’s more like one per week here in B.C.” – Dr. Julio Montaner;
During that time period BC and in particular in the Downtown East Side, we saw an HIV/AIDS epidemic never seen in North America before. Vancouvers large port city has an extremely large open drug market; as well as having the mildest climate in Canada. The open drug market mixed with affordable housing in DTES Single room occupancies makes Vancouvers eastside a breeding ground for crime and substance use.
Since the opening of In-Site
The new cases of H.I.V. infection have dropped substancially … “B.C. has had such remarkable success arresting acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS, that in the past 25 years, new cases have steadily dropped and are now 90 per cent below what they were at the beginning of the epidemic.” – BC Centre For Dissease Control.
Speaking from personal experience in the surrounding areas; the visible injecting / scattered needles and drug crime did drop substantially as well.
This video uploaded in 2006 shows the severity of this areas situation and how In-Site combats the issues first hand.
Annual Downtown Eastside Women’s Memorial March
WHAT: Press Conference for 27th Annual Women’s Memorial March
WHEN: Tuesday February 14 at 11:00 am
WHERE: Carnegie classroom, 3rd floor, Main and Hastings
MEDIA PROTOCOL: Please note there will be NO MEDIA PERMITTED in Carnegie Theatre during the family remembrance between 10:30 am to noon. Media may record the march that begins at noon at Main and Hastings, except NO recording of the ceremonies that take place during the march.
Carol Martin: 778-302-3367
Myrna Cranmer: 604-215-0264
Mabel Nipshank: 604-809-6504
Evelyne Youngchief: 778-888-1687
Rebecca Brass: 778-223-2843
For French media interviews, contact Cori Kelly: 778-709-6494
For general media inquiries or to set up further interviews, contact Harsha Walia: 778 885 0040
February 8, 2017 VANCOUVER, Coast Salish Territories- The February 14th Annual Women’s Memorial March is held on Valentine’s Day to honour the memory of all women from the Downtown Eastside who have died due to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual violence. Now in its 27th year, the march brings courage and commitment to end the violence that vulnerable women in the Downtown Eastside face on a daily basis.
The Women’s Memorial March Committee is hosting a press conference on Tuesday February 14th at 11 am in the Carnegie Center’s 3rd floor classroom. The march begins at noon on Main and Hastings.
The February 14th Women’s Memorial March Committee was founded when a woman was found murdered on Powell Street .For 27 years, the Committee has been a leading voice on the issue of violence against Indigenous women and has raised local, national, and international attention. Despite a national inquiry being launched on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, the reality on the ground in the Downtown Eastside has not changed.
According to the Women’s Memorial March Committee “Increasing deaths of many vulnerable women from the Downtown Eastside still leaves family, friends, loved ones, and community members with an overwhelming sense of grief and loss. Indigenous women disproportionately continue to go missing or be murdered with minimal action to address these tragedies or the systemic nature of gendered violence, poverty, racism, or colonialism.”
In Vancouver, friends and family members led by Indigenous women move through the DTES and stop at sites where women died or were last seen to offer prayers, medicines, and roses in remembrance.