GUELPH -- While other municipalities debate whether to open consumption and treatment services sites, Guelph is set to double its capacity.

The downtown CTS site has received $330,000 from the provincial government. They currently have two booths for people to consume drugs in a supervised environment and plan to double that number.

Casandra Jurevicius, a site user, says that the increase in capacity can help save lives.

“About two weeks about, because we just have the two booths, I went to the washroom to use alone and I overdosed. They found me and gave me a naloxone dose and I’m alive to this day because of them.

“With the four booths I wouldn’t have had to wait that long.”

The CTS site is also receiving a three-year extension from the federal government, which will allow it to operate until January 2023.

Raechelle Deveraux, executive director of Guelph Community Health Centre, adds that when someone comes into the site they’re often in acute withdrawal and not able to wait.

The expansion will also include a set of doors for enhanced privacy and a nurse treatment room to do wound care, STI testing, allowing us to prescribe medications like antibiotics under medical directives.

“If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have the hope that I can get outside of this space,” said Jurevicius.

The Guelph site currently sees about 30 visits a day.

“I have seen the good work that they do in our community to help people,” said Guelph mayor Cam Guthrie. “To give them a hand up and get them in a different direction in life if they are requesting it.

“When you leave them out you’re doing them a disservice and it’s not right. We need to make sure we’re wrapping ourselves around the people who are in the most need.”

While Kitchener’s CTS site opened Oct. 15, Cambridge council recently voted to delay discussions until later in spring.

“To open their doors and to have lifesaving services in their community,” said Deveraux. “We’ll do everything we can as we’ve been doing alongside them to help them out.”