ENSEMBLE AT A GLANCE…
We work to:
Reduce harm; a nonjudgmental approach that recognizes drug use exists and so attempts to minimize the harms and risks associated with drug use.
Promote and support the development of ‘safe’ environments throughout the region for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, two-spirit, and questioning (LGBTQ) citizens.
Help improve the quality of life for persons infected and affected by HIV/AIDS and help reduce the spread of HIV and other STIs, through education and prevention programs.
NEEDLE DISTRIBUTION SERVICE
The Needle Distribution operates under the principles of harm reduction; a nonjudgmental approach that recognizes drug use exists and so attempts to minimize the harms and risks associated with injection drug use. It does this by providing clean injection equipment, factual information and referrals to other services all while ensuring that service users are recognized and respected as people first. Service users are also encouraged to return their used needles, thus ensuring a proper disposal and reducing the chances of needle related accidents. A 24/7 disposal bin donated by Downtown Moncton Centre-ville Inc. is available outside the building.
THE NECESSITY OF A NEEDLE DISTRIBUTION SERVICE
In 2006-2007, 58 injection drug users were recruited by ENSEMBLE to participate in a survey as a needs assessment to guide the development of a Needle Distribution Service. The results showed that:
50% (29 participants) were aged 29 or under
57% (33 participants) injected daily
69% (40 participants) re-used their needles
28% did not clean their needles at all
41% cleaned them with water or bleach (neither of which kills HCV)
74% had shared needles and 85% had shared spoons, swabs and water
Of the 52/58 people tested for Hepatitis C and HIV:
58% (30 participants) had Hepatitis C
4% (2 participants) had HIV
17% (9 participants) had Hepatitis C and HIV [co-infected] Almost all said they became infected by sharing needles
The participants were asked how they disposed of their dirty needles. The results showed that:
55% (32 participants) disposed of needles in the garbage*
31% (18 participants) disposed of needles in manholes
5% (3 participants) disposed of needles in the street
Only 5 participants out of the 58 recruited, disposed of needles in sharps containers.
* In 2010, the Westmorland-Albert Solid Waste Corporation had an average of about 16 needle puncture injuries per month
“I think you guys are the best thing that’s ever happened to us. People are healthier now. They can get cleans rigs and stuff. Even my veins are in better shape than they’ve been for years. I know guys who were using the same needle 40 or 50 times.”
“I’m very, very satisfied with the service here. Everyone’s been very helpful and non-judgmental. It’s already uncomfortable to have to do this so you don’t want to feel judged. But everybody is great here and I like that it’s private and confidential.”
The primary focus of Safe Spaces is to promote and support the development of ‘safe’ environments within the region for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, two-spirit, and questioning (LGBTQ) citizens. Particular emphasis is on the well-being and personal safety of youth. Our coordinator works within the service region to initiate and support the development of ‘safe spaces’ including: a drop-in for youth, doing workshops in schools and in the community about sexual orientation, gender identity, homophobia & transphobia; and to support Gay-Straight Alliances in High Schools.
SAFE SPACES WEEKLY DROP-IN
The weekly drop-in is for LGBTQ youth (ages 13-18) and their friends, where they can socialize, make crafts, play games, have group discussions, watch movies etc. in a positive environment that celebrates diversity. The drop-in takes place at Youth Quest (199 St. George St.) on Tuesday nights from 6PM – 8PM. We follow the school calendar, so when there is no school there is no drop-in (holidays, storms, summer break etc). To volunteer please fill out our application here
The Ally Initiative was implemented to help LGBTQ youth identify people that are supportive and inclusive. By displaying your Ally card (provided by our Safe Spaces coordinator), it becomes easier for youth to identify places where they feel safe and where they can talk to someone that celebrates diversity.
An ally can be anyone who works with youth or who encounters youth in their lives. They could be parents, school personnel, social workers, nurses, etc. Their role is to be supportive and to advocate for youth by offering support, organizing or supporting awareness activities, intervening when witnessing homophobic, transphobic, biphobic or heterosexist behaviors, and providing a safe environment.
To take part in the Ally Initiative or simply to receive our workshop, please complete the form below.
program. Upon completion of the workshop, you will receive a certificate. If you wish to display a Safe Spaces Ally Card at your workplace, a current criminal record check is required (received within the last 12 months). Your name can also be added to the regional ally list.
Please note: you will have access to a link that will enable you to download a criminal record check request form and instructions once you’ve completed the application.
For more information on our Safe Spaces program, you can email or call Sarah
Phone: (506) 859-9616
Our office is located at 80 Weldon St. in Moncton, NB.
Fax : (506) 855-4726