News source from CTV News
Residents living in a west end apartment building say they are in desperate need of help after finding people they believe are drug addicts passed out on their front lawn.
Many people living at 350 Church Street say they have nowhere to turn to.
They claim homeless people and drug users have taken over the outskirts of the apartment building they live in, by sleeping wherever they wish, storing their belongings and leaving behind garbage including used needles, crack pipes and condoms.
Many also shared with CTV News stories of when they were allegedly attacked by people who appear high.
Another growing concern, drug users overdosing and passing out at all hours of the day and night.
One resident, who goes by the name of Amy, tells CTV News the sight is sadly not unusual.
“I’m tired of touching people to see if they are still alive,” says Amy.
She, along with Loren Ruby live at the apartment building on church street.
“Everyone walks by them and pretends they don’t see them.”
“Sometimes, I automatically assume someone has overdosed,” she says. “I look at these people and ask why isn’t anyone checking on these people.”
Amy carries around a naloxone kit, in case she witnesses a drug overdose first hand.
“I have the nasal spray and the injection.”
The pair is also concerned about drug paraphernalia left behind.
“They do it right out in the open, they don’t care who is around,” she says.
One man, who goes by the name Trevor, tells CTV News he uses crystal myth at the exact location.
“I’ll go there, it’s a blind spot, I’ll do my hit, clean up and go,” says Trevor. “A lot of people do a hit and just throw stuff.”
Trevor often spends time at the Salvation Army, which is right across the street from this apartment building.
“We do the utmost when they are on our property, but when they leave our property we are not responsible, but we will be as supportive as we can to the neighbours to troubleshoot issues they may have,” says Major Paul Rideout with the Salvation Army.
Trevor believes a proposed safe injection site on Pelissier Street is a good idea.
“A safe place for people to do things, properly trained people will be there to make sure people don’t do too much,” says Trevor.
“Personally coming from Vancouver I think it’s a good idea,” says Ruby. “I know there is a lot of mixed feeling about it but when it comes down to harm reduction I think it is useful.”
The Windsor-Essex Community Health Centre and the Aids Committee Of Windsor have submitted a joint application for a temporary overdose prevention site.
Ontario’s health minister and long term care says the province will hold off on opening any new overdose-prevention sites intended to help fight the opioid crisis.
President and CEO of Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare Janice Kaffer says there are misconceptions.
“There is fear in our community, that a safe injection site is nothing more than a place where people go to inject and use drugs, the reality is so far from that,” says Kaffer.
Kaffer says it’s also a place where health professionals are talking to the individuals, asking if they are ready for rehab.
In the meantime, Windsor police Sgt. Steve Betteridge suggests when a citizen sees someone on the ground and is concerned about their well-being to call 911.
“That is a priority one call. That is a 911 call. A tied response between police, fire and EMS and a first responder will get there quite quickly,” says Betteridge.
Police tell CTV News because the paraphernalia are on private property, the service is not responsible for needle cleanup. That is the responsability of the property owner.
CTV News reached out to Kah Wah Property Management, who is believed to own the property, but did not receive a response.
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