Sault group pushing to bring safe consumption site to the city
Despite receiving a trespassing notice, the founder of Safe Space, a mobile harm reduction site in the Sault, isn't giving up her goal of helping the community.
Merissa Dinner and her group were served the trespass notice from Sault police, on behalf of the city, for operating an injection tent on city property.
However, Dinner refutes that any injections were taking place in her tent and said she's just focused on reducing the harm done to drug users.
"We are particularly careful to make sure there is no injection on site," Dinner said. "But with this notice now, there was a lady who had taken one of our benches and moved it over to a table and she was injecting and injecting other people at the table and I can't stop that."
Dinner said she was given permission to operate her Safe Space tent on the private property of a nearby building in Jamestown.
However, the city said that wasn't the case.
"Once it was established by police that she had in fact set up on city property after this conversation, the notice of trespass was issued," reads a statement from the City of Sault Ste. Marie.
Dinner said while she doesn't currently allow injections, she is looking to create a safe consumption site in the Sault.
She said she's applied for a permanent exemption from Health Canada to set up a safe consumption site and is currently in the process of consultations.
"We've reached out to the city about the old Studio 10 location," Dinner said. "We've reached out to the citizens that live next to it and we're hoping that would be a place that the community decides is appropriate."
Dinner said she's hoping to hear back from Health Canada about her application by the end of the month.