Lack of capacity creating issues at Guelph OPS
Traditional male and female washroom symbols are shown.
Published Tuesday, February 12, 2019 7:48AM EST
Staff at the downtown Guelph Community Health Centre has closed some of it's washrooms due to concerns of drug use.
The health centre is home to an overdose prevention site along with other health services, such as a diabetes clinic and midwives practice.
Staff says the washrooms were being used to consume drugs when the prevention site is at capacity or not open.
Officials say they are concerned for everyone’s safety, and are looking into ways the can reopen the washrooms, including reverse motion detectors.
“They detect if there is no motion in the bathroom after a period of time, then an alarm with sound, so that if there is someone in medical distress, we’ll be alerted to that,” said Jan Klotz, Client Care Manager, at the Guelph Community Health Centre.
Klotz says people chose to use the washrooms when the site is full or closed, and also for privacy.
“There’s a lot of fear, and a lot of shame around that behavior, wanting to use the more private space is still something that some people choose to do,” said Klotz.
The overdose prevention site in Guelph opened in May and staff say the number of people using the site grows every day.
Currently they have around 360 clients and only two booths, and are looking to the province to expand.
With reporting by Daryl Morris