Located in the Maple Hotel • Working to keep the streets of our community free of used drug paraphernalia.
Vancouver Coastal Health
The Needle Depot offers harm reduction supplies and peer support in the DTES. It is one place that everyone knows is open 24 hours a day, and where drug users know they can get clean equipment to promote safer use.
Operating 365 days a year, under the Washington Hotel in the side alley, the Needle Depot is currently the only 24-hour fixed site in the DTES. It is operated by skilled and knowledgable peer workers with support from PHS, and is a pillar of the PHS’s broader harm reduction strategy since 2002. With approximately 20,000 visits per month, and over one million syringes distributed last year, the Depot provides safer injection, safer smoking, and safer sex supplies to residents of the DTES, as well as supporting PHS projects that require harm reduction supplies and disposal.
The use of dirty syringes and other unsafe supplies are significant factors in the transmission of Hepatitis and HIV. The Needle Depot’s primary aim is to help combat these public health crises by distributing sterile materials, while providing a gateway to other services and a crucial point of engagement to an at risk population.
The program also offers a number of additional services including street and alley safety patrols, recovery of discarded syringes from public spaces, peer education, referrals to detox and health care, and employment opportunities for local residents of the DTES.