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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#BryanStevenson and Rev. Cecil Williams came together last night at the @jccsf. These two people know very well the "power of proximity," having dedicated their lives to working for and with some of the most disenfranchised individuals and communities in our country. Despite the pain of violence and injustice, they stress the importance of staying #hopeful and loving. "It is the broken among us that know and appreciate the power of compassion."--Bryan Stevenson @eji_org @artsjccsf @supersoul @nyulaw @glidesflegacy @harvardlaw @randomhouse #justmercy #unconditionallove Maya Angelou and Isabel Allende join a Sunday Celebration at GLIDE in January 1996. Check out the 2nd installment of our #womenshistorymonth blog series (link in profile) to learn about some of the amazing #WomenOfGLIDE who keep this place runnin' and thrivin'! @glidesflegacy #mayaangelou @allendeisabel @oprahmagazine @sfchronicle @tenderloinmuseum GLIDE on the Move: A Sacramento Day of Action! Click the link in our profile to learn more about why GLIDE supports #SB54, "The California Values Act"! #nobannowall #sanctuary #nomassdeportations @feliciahorowitz @michaelfranti @msmichellearce @ninjagaiden78 @wholefoodssanfrancisco @zendesk @mglide @amygardner9 @glidesflegacy @bewhatspossible @tndcsf @codetenderloin @tenderloinmuseum @laurenbennettsmith The SF Board of Supervisors Rocks! GLIDE sends a special shout-out to the SF Board of Supervisors President, @londonbreed, and our District 6 Supervisor, @supejanekim, for their swift response to our call to help. When a water pressure problem threatened GLIDE's ability to serve the 2000 meals needed daily by our community, these stellar Supervisors got the problem fixed overnight! Much love and gratitude to the SF Board of Supervisors for being great partners in serving our communities! #localgov #publicservice

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