Harm Reduction: Safety for our community members
Southside Harm Reduction is taking a harm reduction approach to supporting community members on Lake Street and around South Minneapolis, particularly those who are involved in drug use. As a neighborhood organization, we believe that everyone in our community is valuable and deserves to be safe, and we so appreciate the work that Southside Harm Reduction is doing in Powderhorn.
What does Harm Reduction mean?
One of the basic principles of harm reduction is to "accept, for better and or worse, that licit and illicit drug use is part of our world and choose to work to minimize its harmful effects rather than simply ignore or condemn them." You can learn more about what Harm Reduction is on Southside Harm Reduction's website, but for this group,
embracing a harm reduction framework looks like:
- understanding that people who use their services know what they need for their health, - making available their services as low-barrier as possible, and - destigmatizing, validating, and acknowledging the humanity of all people who use drugs.
What do they do?
Southside Harm Reduction is a group of volunteers who spend a lot of time on the streets of Minneapolis providing resources for anyone who is interested in them, distributing clean needles and collecting used ones, and giving out nalaxone (a medication that can help prevent opiod overdoses). They build strong relationships with the community members they interact with and are able to connect them with housing, treatment, and other resources whenever possible.
Volunteers can help with syringe cleanup and outreach, and help is also needed packing kits to give out each week. To find out more, fill out this form on their website! You can also let them know about areas where syringe cleanup is needed.