Local agencies that partnered to continue Ottawa’s free crack pipe program after the city cancelled its support are thrilled to receive help from a Toronto group.
Kathleen Cummings, executive director of the AIDS Committee of Ottawa, said she’s happy that the Safer Crack Use Coalition of Toronto announced plans for a fundraiser to buy ‘safer inhalation kits’ for Ottawa.
“We’ve been communicating with them about it,” said Cummings. “We’re happy that they’re in support, that they’re raising money to help keep the safe inhalation program running.”
Four months after the city cancelled its support of the crack pipe program, supplies are still holding out, said Cummings. The program’s 11 partners have agreed they’d find enough money to keep it running until December 31.
“We’re hoping before then that we’ll have other things in place,” she said.
Although AIDS Committee of Ottawa and other groups haven’t had to turn anyone away, distribution of the kits has gone down because of reduced resources, Cummings said.
“But thanks to this coalition and other people who donate money or raise funds, we’ll be able to keep this going a bit longer,” she said.
The fundraiser is held at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at Good Handy’s in Toronto.
“We hope to raise as much as we can,” Cummings said. “Any little bit helps.”