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Hastings Folk Garden at 117 East Hastings, right beside InSite in Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES)

June 1, 2012 Leave a comment

Excited DTES residents prepare Hastings Folk Garden for new planting season!

Below is Jim speaking about prepping the soil, planting seeds and having events!

Description

Our vision is: To create a welcoming, beautiful, safe place for community members to enjoy as a calm green space where they can engage in therepeutic activities; To link supportive programming from the Lifeskills Centre and greater PHS Community Service

Upcoming:

In March come get involved in preparing the garden for the growing season: turn over the soil, get your hands dirty, help us build planter boxes, benches and vertical garden space out of recycled materials! Come ask at Lifeskills if you want to get involved: tel 604 678 8278

In April the garden will be open Noon – 3 Weekdays for community access!

Smudges are Ongoing!

Aboriginal Front Door cares for a Native Plant Garden within the space!

Past Events have included Sprouting Workshops and Outdoor Movies, look for these again in the summer!

Dr. Peter Ferentzy, PhD Crackhead speaks on Ending Drug Prohibition and Emancipating the Addict – the Last Frontier in a Struggle for Enlightenment in Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES)

January 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Peter Ferentzy holds a Ph.D. in Social and Political Thought from York University. His dissertation is a historical sociology of the origins and recent development of the modern concept of addiction with an emphasis on how it has interacted with ideas about mental illness and compulsions in general.

Dr. Ferentzy has studied and written extensively on Gamblers Anonymous, as well as other issues related to pathological gambling. His two most recently completed studies involve: 1.  The history of ideas related to addiction with an emphasis on problem gambling wherein special attention is paid to the role of metaphoric conceptualization in the construction of scientific discourse; 2.  A street level, ethnographic study of gambling patterns among crack users in downtown Toronto. 

Peter Ferentzy is a recovering drunk and a recovering crackhead. He knows this topic from the gutter right up to the halls of academe. After losing two friends to overdose, and seeing clearly that in each case the governing approach to addiction was the cause, Peter wrote Dealing with Addiction — Why the 20th Century was Wrong. Peter wants to change things, and is arrogant enough to believe that he can.

Please see more at Peter’s website and book

Dr. Peter Ferentzy, PhD CRACKHEAD talk on Ending Drug Prohibition and Emancipating the Addict – the Last Frontier in a Struggle for Enlightenment

January 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Dr. Peter Ferentzy, PhD CRACKHEAD, an addiction expert who has lived the life of a crack addict reveals the ugly truth: the dominant approach to drugs and alcohol addictions has hurt and even killed more people than it has helped.

On Sunday January 22, 6:30 PM PST, Dr. Peter Ferentzy will be doing a talk at

Simon Fraser University Harbour Centre (515 West Hastings St)

In Fletcher Challenge Theatre (Room 1900)

Courtesy of Insite,

Vancouver’s famous safe injection clinic.

Ending Drug Prohibition and Emancipating the Addict – the Last Frontier in a Struggle for Enlightenment

With a special introduction by Dr. Gabor Mate.

Peter Ferentzy holds a Ph.D. in Social and Political Thought from York University. His dissertation is a historical sociology of the origins and recent development of the modern concept of addiction with an emphasis on how it has interacted with ideas about mental illness and compulsions in general.

Dr. Ferentzy has studied and written extensively on Gamblers Anonymous, as well as other issues related to pathological gambling. His two most recently completed studies involve: 1.  The history of ideas related to addiction with an emphasis on problem gambling wherein special attention is paid to the role of metaphoric conceptualization in the construction of scientific discourse; 2.  A street level, ethnographic study of gambling patterns among crack users in downtown Toronto. 

Peter Ferentzy is a recovering drunk and a recovering crackhead. He knows this topic from the gutter right up to the halls of academe. After losing two friends to overdose, and seeing clearly that in each case the governing approach to addiction was the cause, Peter wrote Dealing with Addiction — Why the 20th Century was Wrong. Peter wants to change things, and is arrogant enough to believe that he can.

Please see more at Peter’s website and book

 

Historical Day of Legal Victory for InSite! Supreme Court of Canada allows InSite to stay Open in Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES)

October 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Historical Day for InSite! Supreme Court of Canada allows InSite to stay Open in Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES)

“WE WON!!!!”

Friday Sept 30, 2011 at Insite; 6:30am – Be among the first to hear the results of the Supreme Court Ruling in Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES)

September 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Join us this Friday, 6:30am, at Insite; Vancouver’s Supervised Injection Site, at 139 East Hastings St. to be among the first to hear the results of the Supreme Court of Canada’s Decision regarding Insite.

Coffee and Muffins will be on-hand, as it will be an early morning. Try to come by on your way to work.

In our neighbourhood, a small but unique project called Insite, exists. It is the result of the incredible efforts of many people in our community and in our City, and in our Province. Many individuals, groups, academics and researchers who have come together and fought for it to exist, and fought for its continued existence, for over a decade now.

This isn’t just about a building or an initiative in the Downtown Eastside. It’s about systemic and National change in our approach to people who suffer from addiction.

This Friday morning, a enormous decision will be announced determining whether or not Insite can stay open, indicating the direction our Country is heading in, in terms of the future for people living with addiction.

On May 12th 2011, the Canadian Supreme Court heard the Federal Government appeal of the previous BC Supreme Court rulings that Insite is protected under section 7 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as the Province of BC’s constitutional jurisdiction over health care, in supporting this vital primary health care facility.

Up until now, we have said that our country has no room for people struggling with life as an active addict. People who suffer intense pain, who have been branded as criminals, due to the arbitrary distinction made between addictive substances such as alcohol and cigarettes, or cocaine and heroin.

This group of people, to whom we are all connected – are our family members, our friends, and our loved ones and our neighbours. They are currently treated like animals, and can die as a result of being  “thrown out”.

We have collectively told them, that unless you are clean…. Your life does not matter. You will be denied housing and services.  It’s OK if you die of a drug overdose, it’s OK if you get an infectious disease, it’s OK if you live on the street, get beaten up, get HIV or hepatitis C, or go to jail.

This is our humanistic Canadian Society.  For the drug addict, it is anything but humane.

I believe in 30 years we will look back in disbelief at the lack of wisdom we have shown in our policies surrounding some of our Society’s most fragile and sick individuals who are not accessing proper treatment, dignity or care.

Insite is only one very tiny piece of what’s needed to put the puzzle into place, but it is an icon of real systemic change. Insite communicates the message to the drug user that your life is worth saving and that your life is worth living.  That we believe in you as a human being, in spite of the fact that you are injecting drugs into your body.

It is a symbol of hope for our collective humanity.

If Insite wins this Supreme Court ruling we will be sending a message of hope to thousands of people across the country to say that we care about them. We care enough to keep them alive, to bring them in off the streets, to provide them with access to nursing supports, access to treatment and detox, and life saving interventions. Insite saves people’s lives and connects them into a mainstream array of supports and care.

This will be a victory for all of us as Canadians, and it will signal a new direction for our Country, by turning against the simplistic paradigms of the past that have convinced so many that quitting an addiction is just as simple as saying No. Not only has this belief led to enormous suffering, it has misinformed policy, and allowed politicians to avoid making the right decisions. People who live addicted to illicit substances are people.

If we lose this fight, Insite will be none-the-less relevant. We will continue to call upon the Federal Government of this country, who just need to provide a simple letter to keep it open…We will ask our Prime Minister, and our Federal Minister of Health, to grant an exemption for Insite – We will ask that they listen to the millions of dollars worth of scientific evidence, the local experts, the merchants, the doctors, the nurses and the people of Vancouver and British Columbia, including the Premier of British Columbia and the past five Mayors of Vancouver representing every political stripe, to allow Insite’s life saving work to continue.

To quote Dean Wilson, one of the plaintiffs in the original BC Supreme Court case. “Insite will not be closed. Insite, as well as the comprehensive Onsite treatment program that includes the 30 recovery beds on the two floors above Insite, have both saved my life and put me on the path to recovery. There is no way that myself and the thousands of members of my community are going to let the positive impact of this facility end.”

A broad based coalition of community members including church groups, doctors and nurses, local merchants and civic and provincial officials will attempt to contact Stephen Harper to make certain he is aware of the literal life-and-death consequences of the action before him.

In the event that the Supreme Court rule against Insite, “Stephen Harper will have an important choice before him,” said fellow plaintiff Shelly Tomic. “He can choose life – or he can choose death for thousands of Canadians suffering while struggling to overcome their addiction.”

You are welcome to pop by this Friday morning, to await the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, which we will have via a live link.

Liz Evans
Executive Director
PHS Community Services Society

April Smith and Hendrik Beune of AHA MEDIA are very proud to attend SFU – Simon Fraser University’s Literacy Lives: Certificate for Community Capacity Building

September 29, 2011 1 comment

Our Certificate in Community Capacity Building  Skills for Strengthening community health is part of  Literacy Lives: An Integrative Model for Applied Community-based Literacy in inner-city Environments

This pilot program is designed for learners who are passionate about creating positive community change in the area of HIV and community health. Learners will strengthen their essential skills and knowledge about community building while working with a cohort of other community members to choose, design, implement and evaluate a community project. The program’s design recognizes the strength and value of diverse learning styles and experiences, and places an emphasis on experiential and authentic learning opportunities.

Our curriculum for the program is made up of three core pieces:

  1. HIV and social determinants of health;
  2. literacy and essential skills; and
  3. the theory and practice of community capacity building.

Learning will happen within the context of community-based work: learners will identify, plan, implement and evaluate community projects that address key needs in their communities, and that capture something they feel passionate about.

Within the Literacy Lives project, community projects will be focused on HIV and social determinants of health.

The Certificate in Community Capacity Building is a pilot program designed for learners who are passionate about creating positive community change in the area of HIV and community health

We are excited about the following during our University experience!

Learners in the program will:

Make a positive difference in their communities.

Learn more of the essential skills and tools needed to effect positive change.

Learn more about HIV and community health.

Learners who complete the 26-week program will earn a Certificate in Community Capacity Building and become an alumnus of Simon Fraser University.

Hendrik with our AMAZING instructor Jo!

In the next photo and video, Liz Evans of PHS speaks to our class on the history of PHS, and its community capacity building, peer training and skill building, housing, and activism with InSite in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES)

We gratefully thank Frank, our community coordinator and PHS for their support and encouragement while attending this excellent program at SFU! :)

PHS Community Services Society

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PHS Community Services is a non-profit organization providing: transitional housing, supportive housing, 24-hour service, health services, complementary therapy, and harm reduction.

PHS’s mandate is to promote, develop and maintain supportive affordable housing for adult individuals who are hard to house and at risk of homelessness due to their physical and/or mental health, behaviour, substance dependencies, and forensic history.

Alley Health Fair 2011 on 100 Block Hastings in Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES)

September 21, 2011 Leave a comment

A celebration of healthy living and nutrition in the Downtown Eastside, from hair cuts to HIV testing, from blood pressure to pedal-powered smoothies

The Alley Health Fair wants to increase awareness of healthy living possibilities among DTES residents. Be sure to visit them on Thursday, Sept 15 10AM-2PM

Alley Health Fair

100 Block East Hastings

Food, Acupuncture,  Massage, Smoothies, Giveaways, Health Info and Testing!

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