by: Rikki-Lee Martin
Many people in our community have a difficult time accessing essential healthcare. Whether they have had negative or traumatic experiences with hospitals and other healthcare services, or have had their ID or health card stolen, the barriers to getting the help they need pile up.
At Sanctuary we are blessed to have a small clinic that is a safe place for many people in our community. Our clinic is set up to be as accessible as possible, and community members do not need a health card or ID to see us. The clinic opened 19 years ago and is staffed by a skilled team of doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners. We have heard numerous community members say that our clinic was their first entry point back into receiving healthcare, because it was located in a place they trusted, with people they trusted.
What does our clinic do?
Two days a week we have a drop-in clinic where anyone can be seen by a nurse, nurse practitioner or doctor. We provide assessments and treatment, referrals and prescriptions, foot care, wound care, supportive counselling, connections to community services, and other supports. During the rest of the week, we spend time doing outreach on the streets, advocating for our community members in hospitals, and joining community members for appointments that they may otherwise miss.
We also strive to adapt our programming to reflect the changing needs of our community. This year we were able to start a Naloxone distribution program in response to the opioid crisis. Naloxone is a life-saving medication that can almost immediately reverse opioid overdoses. We were able to train our staff and community on how to use Naloxone, and now we distribute Naloxone to our community members who have used it to save lives.
Why do we need your help?
We need your help to cover the costs of necessary medication, wound care supplies, foot care supplies, and other medical equipment that people without coverage cannot afford.
We are grateful for your support as it has helped some of the most vulnerable people in our community make strides to improve their health.