South Riverdale Community Health Centre Response to National Post Article

Yesterday the National Post published an article containing statements and allegations by a self-identified former SRCHC employee related to the operation of the Centre and our harm reduction services.

Due to our obligations and interests in protecting employee and client confidentiality, safety and security, SRCHC is constrained in our ability to respond to this article. However, we feel compelled to respond to a number of comments or allegations in the article about our operations, which may otherwise be accepted as fact and recirculated.

Do we permit stolen goods to be purchased and sold on the property? No. Do we allow drug dealers to set up shop inside the Centre? Absolutely not. Do we allow managers and staff to use drugs and alcohol while they are at work? We do not. We do employ peers/workers with lived and living experience who are people who use drugs, an established best practice in harm reduction programs.

I see the remarkable work performed by our staff every day, in challenging conditions, with vulnerable clients who need us now more than ever. As Chief Executive of this organization I stand behind our employees and support their commitment.

Many residents and businesses in our area understand and appreciate what we do and recognize that we are working together to support the community, our staff and our clients.

In the coming months, we will have more to say about the extraordinary work our team is doing to save lives and reduce the harm of the drug poisoning epidemic. Please be assured that we remain committed to helping clients to get the care and support they need at the heart of this very compassionate community.

Jason Altenberg
CEO, South Riverdale Community Health Centre