Faith and Harm Reduction
At SOOAR, we strive to live by the teachings and example of Jesus. We believe that each person is valuable and loved, no matter their background or journey. One of the ways we live out this belief is by providing harm reduction services to those who need it. We understand that judgment and stigma cause devastation in a person's life, and we want to help reduce the harm that comes with it. Our goal is to offer hope, compassion, and practical support to those who perform sex work and use drugs.
Faith in harm reduction: The true meaning of “All God’s Children”.
"Where faith and harm reduction meet to create the movement for justice with people who use drugs." National Harm Reduction Coalition
In 2020, SOOAR in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network, and multiple community agencies, and partners launched the Western Wayne Harm Reduction Initiative. The goal is to build bridges between harm reduction and faith communities to develop leadership, strengthen harm reduction advocacy efforts, and build environments supportive of harm reduction policies and practices.
Harm reduction incorporates a spectrum of strategies that includes safer use, managed use, abstinence, meeting people who use drugs “where they’re at,” and addressing conditions of use along with the use itself. Because harm reduction demands that interventions and policies designed to serve people who use drugs reflect specific individual and community needs, there is no universal definition of or formula for implementing harm reduction.
We come into harm reduction work and the Harm Reduction movement from different places: our personal experiences with drug use, our love or grief for family members and friends, our professional experiences and commitments, our exposure to injustice. Whatever the pathway, it moves us to look through the veils of stigma and criminalization to see the full humanity and potential of people – including ourselves – that society has deemed deviant, dangerous, and disposable.
Faith in Harm Reduction is dedicated to building capacity and mobilizing communities at the intersection of harm reduction and faith-based organizing. Born from conversations with communities of faith, harm reduction organizations, and unions of people who use drugs, this program fills a unique role as a connector, community mobilizer, and capacity builder.
Jesus Walked With The broken –
HARM REDUCTION VALUES ROOTED IN FAITH:
Harm reduction is holy, faith-full resistance, rooted in love and unapologetically insistent on justice.
It is the expression of radical welcome, the welcoming of all stories and paths. Harm reduction calls people by name and attends to and cherishes the particularities.
It is the hospitality that seeks people out, meets them where they are, and invites them into a loving community.
Harm reduction is love that stands with awe at the hardships that people carry, rather than stands in judgment at how they carry it.
Faith in Harm Reduction is on a mission to strengthen support for harm reduction messages, policies and practices that uphold the divinity and dignity of people who use drugs. We aim to strengthen spiritual resources, health, and well-being for communities affected by the opioid crisis.
We meet communities where they are to build supportive environments for harm reduction programs and people who use drugs. This is your chance to be at the forefront of a well-being revolution, helping others prioritize their whole health. You can become someone’s guiding light during this pivotal time in humanity. How?
Work in partnership with people who use drugs and community leaders to:
Advance liberation, health, and wholeness for communities impacted by overdose, trauma, the stigma of substance use, and racialized drug policy.
Expand support for harm reduction messages, practices, and policies through resource development, capacity building, events, and community mobilization.
Grow the spiritual community, co-create theological and liturgical language which speaks to lived experience.
Build collective & integrative practices that transform the imprint of trauma and oppression on people who use drugs.
Reshape the moral narrative on substance use through education, messaging, and community building – centering the divinity and dignity of people who use drugs.
Thank you National Harm Reduction Coalition for permission to utilize your content. Together we make a difference.
Called 2 Care Street Outreach Ministries
Street outreach utilizes a person-centered approach, focused on the individual’s strengths and resources, and never makes assumptions about what a person might need or want.
Street outreach efforts utilize harm reduction principles, including non-judgmental, non-coercive provision of services and resources.