A pop-up tent in the Downtown Eastside that’s been at the centre of the response to the fentanyl crisis has been replaced by a forty-foot trailer.
The trailer, donated by construction company EllisDon, arrived earlier this morning and promises to be much more comfortable than the tent it replaced during the rain and snow we’ve been seeing.
Sara Blythe, manager for Street Market Society says it offers heat and safety, two things that are rare in the DTES.
“We’re really happy, I’m looking at it right now, it’s in place. People from VCH are here and Ellis Don and we’ve got the volunteers here.”
“The truck’s ready to go and we’re going to start putting tables in it and get readfy to go for our first day of operations.”
Blythe says the tent yesterday saw 200 people come in.
The response to the fentanyl crisis in the Downtown Eastside may working, but it’s still a band-aid solution.
In the past, only people who had been deemed chronically addicted to opioids had access to treatment drugs including hydromorphone.
Now what Blythe says should be the next stage of the response is to see that treatment made readily available in pop-up tents, where users can get them.
“In dealing with the actual issue turning the pop-up situation in pain manageent clinics where people can come and see someone and get something that they need that’s not right off the street that they don’t overdose on is a way better solution for everyone.”
Blythe says that treamtent should also include medically prescribed heroin from a medical professional