Syringe Access Program: Meeting People Where They’re At

GHS SAP_hiv servicesGHS’s Syringe Access Program (SAP) strives to meet people where they’re at by using the harm reduction model to provide compassionate services to drug users who are not ready to quit. The program recognizes that there is still plenty of work that can be done with active users to reduce the harm of their drug use, both on an individual and community level.

Every Monday and Tuesday evening, GLIDE Health Services (GHS) staff and volunteers set up in GLIDE’s lobby to offer harm reduction supplies for injection and non-injection drug users, and provide health and wellness information.

HIV Services Manager, Paul Harkin, explains, “Our goal is to try to keep a person healthy, even though they are using drugs. We help with the spread of HIV and Hepatitis B and C, and we help reduce some of the most damaging aspects of injection drug use, like soft tissue disease and vein damage.” The SAP also conducts community outreach in the neighborhood to connect with users who might not be ready or able to come to GLIDE to access the program.

The SAP provides sterile needles, overdose prevention trainings, HIV counseling and testing, and referrals to other relevant programs and agencies. Research has shown that participants of syringe access programs reduce their risk of a variety of diseases, injuries, and infections. SAPs are often the first point of contact for drug treatment.

Paul shares the importance of maintaining a consistent presence in the community, “By continually showing up for our clients, the SAP gains the trust and respect of the community. They recognize that we care enough about them to show up, come rain or shine, and that is a crucial aspect to bridge building.”

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GLIDE Instagram
Celebrating Rev. Cecil Williams today! Leave some well wishes for the Minister of Liberation in the comments! Better yet, wish him a happy birthday in person at #SundayCelebration this weekend! #unconditionallove #fromthearchives #thisdayinhistory #radical @glidesflegacy @shakasenghor @feliciahorowitz @dnwenig @zendesk @mrdannyglover @goapele @vbozeman @ebay_newsroom @sfchronicle @hoodline “My family had that sense about them, a sense of caring. Seeing people as they are, rather than as we would like for them to be. And so that melded in my soul and in my life. And my pathway and my journey has been to say: I’m gonna be inclusive.” —Rev. Cecil Williams

Today we wish a very happy birthday to Rev. Cecil Williams, GLIDE's beloved Co-Founder and Minister of Liberation. We remain eternally grateful for all that he’s done, and continues to do, for the people of the Tenderloin, San Francisco, and the world through the power and example of unconditional love. #unconditionallove #radical #livinglegend #fromthearchives #thisdayinhistory "Eric understands that recovery takes time& compassion." Learn more about our wonderful Community Safety and Training Team on our blog; link is in our profile! #RealTalk #FacesOfGLIDE photo credit: Alain McLaughlin Did you miss Lillian Mark's inspiring words this past Sunday at Celebration? Don't worry—we're sharing her experiences as Manager of GLIDE's Community Safety and Training Team on our #RealTalk blog in a two-part series this month! Big thanks to Lillian for her loving words and inspiring commitment to GLIDE's mission. Click the link in our profile for the full post. "This role has been the most challenging and soul-saving time for me at GLIDE. It has been an absolute honor to work on this team. We help keep the doors wide open for as many people as possible. We are the extended family for people who need and want it, and they are my family. We are there for the good days and the bad days. The team teaches me a lot. Let me tell you about the other day..." https://glidesf.wordpress.com/2017/09/19/leading-with-heart/

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