The Region of Waterloo has approved its first safe consumption site in Kitchener, but a temporary site was also approved in the process.

While there is still some uncertainty about the permanent site at 150 Duke St. W. as it awaits provincial funding, the region pledged to have an interim site established within two months.

According to a report from Region of Waterloo Public Health, three main options are being considered for the temporary site:

  • An interim site within an existing agency
  • A construction trailer set up in an area of need (such as the one pictured)
  • A site existing at the endorsed location of the permanent site

All three options are being considered based on cost, space availability and client accessibility.

Staff members are currently identifying options for a site, staffing requirements and ideal hours of operation.

So far, the region is proposing that the site run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week with at least three staff working at all times, including a nurse, social worker and peer.

People who use the site will have access to harm reduction supplies, monitoring services, overdose response, referral services and drug testing.

The region will submit a federal application in order to get a class exemption from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. That application can be reviewed and approved within two weeks.

According to the report, safe consumption sites opened under these circumstances do not receive any federal funding.

The next report will be submitted in May.