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Temporary funding from Vale means Sudbury supervised consumption site to remain open

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While provincial funding applications have been paused, the supervised consumption site in Greater Sudbury will remain open thanks to some emergency funds.

Tuesday, Réseau ACCESS Network announced it has received $75,000 from Vale, which will allow it to remain open at least until January 2024.

The group is also launching a campaign to secure bridging support for 'the Spot,' as the site has been dubbed.

“This crucial facility plays a pivotal role in providing life-saving services to individuals navigating the unregulated drug toxicity crisis, and we urgently seek industry support to ensure its uninterrupted operation,” Réseau executive director Heidi Eisenhauer was quoted as saying in a news release Tuesday.

The group also thanked Vale for coming through with funds at such a critical time.

“This substantial contribution ensures the continuation of vital harm reduction services and support services for individuals in need,” the release said.

The province paused funding applications in October after it launched a “critical incident review” in the summer after a 44-year-old mother of two was killed by a stray bullet near a consumption site in Toronto's east end.

The Spot is where people who use drugs can take them under supervision and access health care and harm reduction professionals, among other services.

More than 300 people attend the Spot each month and more than 20 overdoses have been reversed.

Officials said they hope the campaign will help them raise the $75,000 a month they need to stay open.

“This funding will sustain life-saving services for one month as we patiently anticipate the provincial response to our 2021 application,” the group said.

“Your active participation will directly shape the destinies of vulnerable community members, champion human dignity, and foster positive community engagement for those in need.”

Officials said the Spot is a “crucial response” to the drug crisis in a city where overdose deaths have increased by 346 per cent since 2018, with 112 residents losing their lives in 2022 alone. 

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