Finding a location for supervised injection site in Sudbury a big obstacle, mayor says
SUDBURY -- Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger said Wednesday it could be another year before a location for a supervised injection site is found in the city.
Bigger was speaking after a meeting of his Task Team – a group of local officials focused on addressing issues affecting the downtown, including opioid addiction and homelessness.
The city's addiction crisis was one of the big topics as team members gathered to meet with the mayor. When it comes to space for a supervised consumption site, after several months of looking, officials are still coming up empty.
"It is concerning because they truly have hit a wall in their search," Bigger said. "We, through the city, have taken a look at three sites in particular, however the community drug strategy has not been successful in identifying a site."
The city's overdose rate is one of the highest in Ontario, and a supervised consumption site is one of the harm-reduction strategies the city is adopting.
While it's unclear why they're having issues, Bigger said it could be another year before a site is made available in the city.
The encampments being used by the homeless -- including most recently the one below the YMCA -- was also discussed. The mayor said the bylaw department and various agencies are working together to find more suitable accommodations.
Helen Francis, of the YMCA Northeastern Ontario, said agencies work to help people understand their options for housing.
"In some cases, individuals might not be ready to take that step and that's where some of the challenges come," Francis said.
CTV cameras caught up with one support worker last week who was helping to address needs in the YMCA garage.
"There's walls, there's shelter from the elements, there are so many things that are basic essential needs that's accessible right here that they're not going to get in the middle of the bush," said Joel Boivin, of the Sudbury Action Centre for Youth.
The mayor said the city still has shelter capacity and is working to find a solution, but he said it's is a very complex problem.