Friday, February 6, 2009

Uncomfortable Question: Why are People Shooting Up at Carnegie Instead of the Safe Fixing Site on the same Block

Operation Pheonix, the media project focusing on the Downtown Eastside, promised to ask "uncomfortable questions" of Downtown Eastside povertarians.  We're still waiting.

I have an uncomfortable question. During the cold spell recently, Carnegie members were finding it difficult to get access to a washroom in the late evening. The washrooms -- particularly the women's washrooms, I've been told by 3 women -- were being used as shooting galleries.  Three women told me that the first floor washroom at Carnegie had a steady flow of women going in to shoot up at night.  If a straight woman was using the washroom, a junkie would too often be outside the door pestering her to "hurry up" or asking, "How long are you going to be?"  People waiting for washrooms -- including those who support the safe injection site -- were commenting about those shooting up, "Why don't they use the safe fixing site."  It's on the same block. 

The fact that people are choosing not to use the safe fixing site was reinforced by a comment dag from covenantzone.blogspot left at the Downtown Eastside Enquirer today. 

"I asked the fellow picking up discarded needles and other fixings on the streets how business was yesterday. He told me it was good, that he'd gotten by then over 150 needles...."


Anonymous said...

it's called the 'supervised injection site'

it doesn't have washrooms for it's clients

Anonymous said...

Right, yes, "supervised injection site" is the correct name, because there is no such thing as a "Safe Injection" of illicit drugs, you are so right there. But as for the alleged lack of washrooms, you are totally off base.
Of course they have washrooms! They even have "chill out rooms" for all the cool cucumbers who feel the need to Veg out "apres fix" (term coined by R.S.).

monty said...

Why is it always the people who don't live in the DTES that want to "preserve" this ghetto and treat the dugged out zombies like their precious children? Those of us who live here are somehow expected to tolerate and be compassionate toward these same people who shit on our doorsteps or verbally assault us or steal our belongings to buy drugs.

Enough already! Time for some Tough Love.

reliable sources said...


You write, "Right, yes, "supervised injection site" is the correct name, because there is no such thing as a "Safe Injection" of illicit drugs, you are so right there."

You're right. That's a good point.

I think you're also right about there being washrooms at Insite. I can't imagine them not having washrooms in what they claim is a "health" facility. Maybe they had to close the washrooms because people were using them to fix in order to have some privacy. I can understand why people would be uncomfortable at Insite fixing in a booth facing a mirror, with a nurse behind them watching their face in the mirror to see if they OD.

Anonymous said...

they do not have washrooms, why don't you check from someone who goes there?

urb anwriter said...

and there are a number of people in Carnegie, 'fixing,'and 'steering' because - whether you like the Carnegie Director or not - PIVOT fought for the addict's 'rights' to be in Carnegie.

Oddly enough PIVOT doesn't want the addicts, dealers, thieves, hookers, and others in PIVOT's offices.

Anonymous said...

That was not PIVOT, that was VANDU, druggies were allowed in Carnegie semi-officially way back when John Ferguson was Head of Security. Johnnie was not happy with the idea, but VANDU claimed discrimination, similarly to the woman who recently claimed she was discriminated against by not getting a job due to her "disability" of being addicted to Tobacco.
Have they closed the bathrooms at INSITE? Because they had to have had them there, or else where would people relieve themselves after drinking all those refreshments from the coffee bar?

Anonymous said...

they never had washrooms and don't intend to, believe it