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Greater Harlem Coalition Logo

June 7, 2023



Asks Communities Below 96th Street to Step Up

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Statement by Inez E. Dickens

“Harlem is sick and tired of being sick and tired. Neighborhoods south of 96th Street must also share the responsibility of taking in the tired, poor and hungry. For years, taxpaying Harlemites have fled to other states because of a continued lack of affordability. We are currently oversaturated with pop up shelters, illegal cannabis shops and drug treatment facilities, and reassurances that these accommodations are temporary ring hollow. Already on that proposed block is a shelter and there are multiple social service facilities within a five-block radius. If the state chooses to overburden Harlem with these programs, then Harlem deserves an influx of funding and services for our residents that are bearing the brunt of the impact.

“We respect the long journey asylum-seekers have made, but for far too long our neighborhood has been seen as a dumping ground for the city’s sheltering issues. As New Yorkers, we must all exercise the words at the feet of the Statue of Liberty in deeds and actions."


NYC Community Overdose Death Rates

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The latest data from the NYC Chief Medical Officer regarding the distribution of overdose deaths in the 5 boroughs.


The Community Impact of Canadian Supervised Injection Sites

The Alberta (Canada) government commissioned and released an exhaustive report on supervised consumption services (SCS) sites and their community impact. SCS have been operating in Alberta for many years now, but their community impact had not been fully understood, nor considered when crafting injection site rules and regulations.

Many of the findings included in the study parallel the experience of East Harlem and Washington Heights residents who live proximate to the US's only two injection sites.

Alberta's Supervised Consumption Services Review Committee that drafted the report listened to more than 19,000 people and heard concerns regarding how these sites are impacting homes, businesses and neighborhoods.

The final report contains the committee’s findings regarding needle debris, social disorder, public safety and other concerns. The committee found serious problems with supervised consumption services as they are currently being operated, and provided thoughtful considerations for improving services and community safety, while building a comprehensive recovery-oriented system of care that offers the greatest chance to lift vulnerable Albertans with addiction out of their current plight.

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  • Increased needle debris and deteriorating public safety around the sites were significant concerns raised during the town halls, through the surveys and in stakeholder meetings.
  • While there were no deaths recorded among people at the SCS sites, death rates in the immediate vicinity of the sites after the sites opened continued to increase along with province-wide rates of opioid deaths.
  • Opioid-related calls for emergency medical services also increased in the immediate vicinity following the opening of the sites.
  • Many people indicated they felt less safe in the areas surrounding the SCS sites after they opened and residents complained about lack of response to calls for service and “de-policing” near the sites
  • Lack of focus on referrals to detoxification and treatment resources.
  • Inconsistent record-keeping and data collection that varied in accuracy and consistency among the sites and often included inaccurate classification of “overdose reversals.”
  • Substantial increases in the use of non-opioid substance use, specifically methamphetamines, leading to aggressive behavior endangering public safety.

The Greater Harlem Coalition asks New York City to examine the community impact of OnPoint's two safe injection sites and oversaturation of drug treatment programs in our community


Stop Redlining Harlem

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