A needle pick-up program in Surrey is short on funding for a second year in a row, and Lookout Society Deputy Executive Director Keir MacDonald says that puts it on thin ice.
“The biggest concern we hear in the community from local business – and residences – is needles and harm reduction paraphernalia are on the street.”
MacDonald says it is running on temporary funding, which will end in March.
With less than two months to go, he says the society has re-submitted a gaming grant, and reached out to Fraser Health. but there’s nothing concrete on the table.
Although there’s nothing concrete on the table, he says there have been productive talks with them.
MacDonald says it’s a huge safety concern.
“What rig-dig is really giving us the ability to do is cover more territory, as well as shed light on some of the hot-spot areas where needles do tend to build up.”
If the program comes to an end, he says the job would be left to city workers.
38,000 needles have been recovered in the last nine months, far exceeding all of 2015’s 24,000.
It costs about $50,000 dollars a year to run the program.