KITCHENER - Downtown Kitchener's consumption and treatment site on Duke Street West is set to open in two weeks' time.
The announcement was made at a regional council meeting on Tuesday.
After much debate and months of preparation, the interim site at 150 Duke St. W. will be open daily from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. starting on Oct. 15.
The Region of Waterloo says that staff will begin training the week of Oct. 7.
Gord Salm lives about four blocks away from the future site and says he had initial concerns with the CTS.
"I heard about it and if it’s just going to be to get a fix, than that doesn’t really solve anything," he said at a public information session held Monday. "But they can have a safe place to do it, needles don’t get messed up, they can apply for help, and have a chance to maybe change their lives.
"You have to try something different. If other things don’t work maybe this will work."
But not everybody is convinced.
Event attendee Steve Ryan says he’s concerned about the impression the site will leave on tourists coming through the downtown core.
"Put it in the mayor’s office and let him clean up the syringes," he said. "Downtown Cambridge said 'no we don’t want it down here.'"
While the interim site is expected to be ready by October, the permanent site at the same location is set to open early in 2020.
The region has committed $730,000 to help get the site up and running. This price tag also includes providing services for up to six months after the doors are opened.
The CTS facility will give people a safe place to use drugs while being monitored by health officials, with the goal being to reduce overdose deaths.
As of August this year, it’s estimated that 46 people have died in Waterloo Region from overdoses.