It’s a place where drug addicts go to get high, where homeless people sleep. It’s also the home of Hamilton’s Safe Injection site. And today Police and community members picked up paint brushes to give Hamilton Urban Core a makeover.
23-year old Erik Kenyon needed help. Once a hockey player, headed for the OHL until doctors found a brain tumor.
He became a drug addict. and had overdosed at least 5 times. He was homeless but then he met Constable Pete Wiesner.
Erik had spent 52 days in the Barton Street Jail arrested for dealing drugs when he was offered a chance to get out and join the city’s social navigator program
It’s a team of 3 people, Constable Wiesner, a paramedic and the Program Coordinator who help people like Erik.
“Whether it’s finding them housing, sustainable income or drug treatment plans or just food or coat on their back.” says, Wiesner.
As part of a crew that’s working to clean up Hamilton Urban Core Community Health Centre, which is also home to the city’s safe injection site, trying to make it a safer space and get rid of the illicit drug use.
Police are called to the center multiple times a day to deal with people who are sleeping here, who are doing drugs and over-dosing. Here they are hoping this effort makes this space more welcoming for those who use the healthcare services and programs at the Urban Core.
For Erik, it was important to be here, “I used to come here when I was a drug addict. I used to come to this spot here, some guys sleep here, eat here. To some guys this is their home right.”
They are looking for a couple of young aspiring artists who would like to paint a mural at the centre Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. If interested give them a call at 905-979-6021.