PHS Community Services Society (604) 683-0073 info@phs.ca

MOBILE NEEDLE EXCHANGE

Providing advocacy, support, and advice to promote safer drug use around Vancouver.

Mobile Needle Exchange

In 2012, the Mobile Needle Exchange accomplished the following:

Used needles retrieved: 1.6 million

Clean needles distributed: 755,000

Condoms distributed: 66,283

Interacted with individuals: 71,212 times

Referrals to healthcare, addiction and other services: 1602

Mobile Needle Exchange collects rigs from anywhere. We operate a hotline (604) 657-6561 and an email account (needlevan@phs.ca) that anyone in the city can contact for our services.

The PHS began operating the Mobile Needle Exchange in May of 2011, which aims to reduce the spread of HIV, HCV, and other illnesses by bringing harm reduction materials to people wherever they are, be that shelters, homes, apartments, or beneath the overpass. We aim to bring the sense of community and care that is found in the DTES to the other areas of the city, and provide thousands of referrals to health care, detox, treatment and other services per year.

We operate a hotline (604.657.6561) and an email account (needlevan@phs.ca) that anyone in the city can contact for our services, which include:

  1. Picking up used needles from housing projects with their own needle repositories, as well as anyone that calls from a residence.
  2. Emptying the city needle boxes scattered throughout the DTES (there are 28 in total).  Alleys using these boxes have shown reduced numbers of loose discards in the area surrounding.
  3. Collecting discarded needles from the streets, alleys, parks, or anywhere one is found.  Anyone who finds a discarded needle/syringe can call the hotline, and the needle will be collected within close to 1 hour.
  4. Using a series of regular checkpoints, we work directly with folks on the street and engaging them about their drug use in non-judgmental ways in order to promote safer drug-use habits and to connect them with health and other resources.
  5. Lastly, anyone can call the hotline (within Vancouver city limits) for delivery of harm reduction materials.  We’ll get there as quick as we can, and bring harm reduction, quite literally, to their doorstep.

The Mobile Exchange also works with a plethora of other organizations to stay connected to the community, including working with the Mobile Access Project (MAP) van.