A new Campbell River program combines community cleanup with peer outreach and support for people using substances and experiencing homelessness.
Get the Point volunteers clean up garbage and sharps around the community and provide items such as sunscreen, hats, water and harm-reduction supplies to people in need living outside. The volunteers also engage in conversations that support positive change.
Cleanups began in June and are conducted three time per week by volunteer “peers” – people who are experiencing homelessness, or who have in the past. A few of the volunteers currently live outside and want to contribute to this community project.
“The program really helps because having people out there who were homeless or using and are now clean really gets others feeling like they can do it, too. And I think the community doesn’t understand, and this can help people see that homeless people and people who use want change, too,” says peer leader Ray Goodwin. “Everyone I talk to likes this program. It’s a lot easier to talk to someone if they aren’t just book learned. If you know someone’s been there, they get it, you know?” Read more...