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
Joyce Hayes, celebrating life, love and GLIDE with @doricamino and @edenchanstreetscooper at the 2014 Holiday Jam. A retro photo of Joyce Hayes, a true GLIDE hero, who so strongly believed in supporting children and providing them with stability, education and #unconditionallove. GLIDE regrets to tell our community that Joyce Hayes, an icon in our history and childcare program, passed away on Tuesday, 5/23/2017. Her life, love and legacy will not be forgotten. 
Please take a moment to read this tribute to our beloved "Joy": glidesf.wordpress.com/2017/05/26/in-memory-of-joyce-hayes-the-heartbeat-of-glides-fycc/ Shout-out @blueshieldofca volunteers! Our Harm Reduction Team always needs people to help assemble safer injection kits. Distributing these kits to our community members who inject drugs greatly reduces the spread of Hep C and HIV. It's about #publichealth and recognizing the dignity and human rights of ALL people living in our city! #harmreduction #cleansharps

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