We are not in the business of forcing transformation on anyone, we foster an environment for transformation to take place.
2023 Harm Reduction Annual Report
We take a harm reduction approach to our services, providing support and resources to individuals who use substances. We are dedicated to reducing the negative consequences of substance use and helping individuals lead healthier lives. We believe in providing access to compassionate care and support to everyone who needs it.
Harm Reduction Strategies
Our harm reduction program is dedicated to creating a safe and inclusive environment for those who need it most. We understand that everyone is on their own journey, and we believe in meeting people where they are, with no judgments. By providing resources for safer drug use and overdose prevention, we strive to reduce the harm associated with drug use.
SOOAR incorporates a spectrum of strategies that meet people where they are ― on their own terms, and may serve as a pathway to additional health and social service. Services include:
Syringe Service Programs
Faith in Harm Reduction
At SOOAR, our mission is to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS. We provide education, resources, and services aimed at preventing the transmission of the virus. Our work is guided by our commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles and reducing the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS, drug use, and sex work. Our judgement free services are available to everyone, regardless of background or socioeconomic status.
Working out of an empowerment framework addresses stigmatization, marginalization, and disenfranchisement. Strategies include:
Drug User Unions
Faith and Harm Reduction
Safe Injection Sites
Education and awareness campaigns.
Our Syringe Service Program is committed to providing free supplies and harm reduction services for individuals who use drugs. We offer a safe and confidential space to access clean needles, syringes, and other supplies. Our program is designed to prioritize the health and safety of our community, with a focus on prevention and education.
Boots on the Ground
At SOOAR we believe outreach is one of the most important components in promoting kindness and humanity on the streets. Through our BOG street outreach program, we work diligently to provide the necessary support and resources to those living on the streets, using, drugs, and performing sex work. Our team is always eager to help by offering food, harm reduction supplies, and connections with local services.
Boots on the Ground
BOG Street Outreach
Boots On the Ground (BOG)
Overdose and HIV infection rates were skyrocketing in Wayne County. In May of 2020, The Executive Director of SOOAR, Valerie Kelley-Bonner, was approached by the Substance Use Disorder Director of Detroit Wayne Integrated Heath Network and members of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Viral Hepatitis Division to assist with the creation of a harm reduction program in Out-Wayne County. The creation of a Syringe Service program was a viable solution to combat the problem. However, decriminalization of paraphernalia had to occur for the program to operate legally and be successful. The first City approached was the City of Inkster. The ordinance was drafted and unanimously approved in 60 days. SOOAR was the first agency to legally operate a Syringe Service Program outside of the City of Detroit. This victory was the beginning of Boots on the Ground (BOG).
SOOAR has always operated under the premise, “nothing for them without them”. Therefore, the BOG Outreach Team began to canvass the city interacting with community member and people who use drugs. This interaction was integral to the success of the program; it built trust, teamwork, mutual admiration, and respect. The needs of participants were heard, and the Team acted distributing clean works, items for the houseless, and letting the participants know that they are loved, and they are not forgotten.
The Team saw the need to integrate spirituality into the program. Several churches were asked to collaborate to no avail. This was very discouraging and baffling; Jesus Christ walked with the broken. It was a harsh realization to discover that the local church didn’t really care. Through the disgust and pain, it was clairvoyant that the BOG Team was “called to care”. This was the birth of “Called 2 Care Ministries”, the spiritual branch of the operation.
Boots on the Ground is a no judgment zone. We are not in the business of forcing transformation on anyone, rather we will foster an environment that allows transformation to take place. We are proud of the success we have made in such a short period of time and looking forward to continuing to pave the wave for those who need us most.
Harm Reduction Strategies
Title: Harm Reduction Strategies: A Comprehensive Guide
Prevention and harm reduction are crucial aspects of creating a healthier and safer society. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various harm reduction strategies that can make a positive impact on individuals and communities. From needle exchange programs to education campaigns, these strategies aim to reduce the harm associated with substance use and promote healthier behaviors. Let's dive in and explore these strategies in detail.
Syringe Service programs provide clean needles and syringes to individuals who use drugs, reducing the risk of infections such as HIV and hepatitis. These programs also offer education, counseling, and referrals to other support services. By promoting safer injection practices, needle exchange programs contribute to the overall well-being of individuals and the community.
Naloxone is a life-saving medication that can reverse opioid overdoses. Distributing naloxone to individuals at risk of overdose, as well as their friends and family members, can significantly reduce overdose-related deaths. Training on how to administer naloxone is also crucial to ensure its effective use during emergencies.
Our overdose prevention strategies can save lives and create a safer community. At Overdose Prevention Nonprofit, we offer comprehensive prevention services and information, including overdose recognition and response, naloxone training, and substance abuse education. Our goal is to empower individuals and communities to take action and prevent overdose incidents.
Safe Injection Sites:
Safe injection sites provide a supervised environment for individuals to use drugs under medical supervision. These sites offer sterile equipment, overdose prevention measures, and access to healthcare professionals. By providing a safe space, these sites reduce the risk of overdose, infections, and other health complications.
Drug Checking Services:
Drug checking services allow individuals to test the content and purity of substances they intend to use. By providing accurate information about the composition of drugs, these services help users make informed choices and reduce the risk of accidental overdoses or adverse reactions. Drug checking services can be offered through specialized organizations or harm reduction centers.
Today, more tools than ever are available to prevent HIV. You can use strategies such as abstinence (not having sex), never sharing needles, and using condoms the right way every time you have sex. You may also be able to take advantage of HIV prevention medicines such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). If you have HIV, there are many actions you can take to prevent transmitting HIV to others.
Education and Awareness Campaigns:
Education and awareness campaigns play a vital role in reducing substance use-related harm. These campaigns aim to educate individuals about the risks associated with substance use, promote safer practices, and challenge stigmas surrounding addiction. By increasing knowledge and understanding, these campaigns empower individuals to make informed decisions about their health.
Access to Support Services:
Ensuring access to treatment and support services is crucial for individuals seeking help for substance use. This includes providing affordable and accessible options, mental health and physical health services, housing, support groups, and aftercare programs. By offering comprehensive support, individuals are more likely to seek help and successfully navigate their journey.
Faith and Harm Reduction:
Called 2 Care Ministries: Our faith-based approach to harm reduction sets us apart from other organizations. Our compassionate team provides non-judgmental support and resources to help individuals reduce the negative consequences of substance use. We believe that individuals should not be stigmatized for their journey and that everyone deserves the chance to make positive changes in their lives. Join us on the journey towards recovery and healing.
Harm reduction strategies are essential in addressing the complex issue of substance use. By implementing these strategies, we can reduce the harm associated with drug use, promote healthier behaviors, and support individuals in their journey. Whether it's through needle exchange programs, naloxone distribution, safe injection sites, education campaigns, drug checking services, or access to support services, each strategy plays a vital role in creating a safer and more compassionate society. Let's work together to make a positive impact and improve the lives of individuals and communities.