As 2022 comes to a close, I am so grateful to reflect on our successful first FULL year in operation. To summarize, the least I can say is thank-you to our wonderful community. When people ask why we do what we do, the answer is simple: because we can act upon our care for improving the lives of vulnerable members of the community, and we want to equip a younger generation with the tools to do the same.
2022 was heavy. We continued to see the effects of our climate crisis, through heat domes, cold snaps, and a really long summer season. We continued to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, through ever-changing public health restrictions and the need to navigate our new "normal." We watched as women and students in Iran were silenced, killed, and raped -- just for exercising basic human rights. We learned through social media and the news how the citizens of Ukraine lost their homes and had to uproot their lives to survive. We continued learning of the horrific impacts of colonization on Canada's Indigenous population, and we continued seeing Indigenous people go missing and murdered at disproportionate rates. Upon many other social, political, and climatic challenges, we made it through a really hard year.
And right here in BC, we had another devastating year of our drug-poisoning crisis.
At NaloxHome, we have had a year of engagement, education, and purpose. We reached over 1,500 School District 43 students with de-stigmatizing lessons about BC’s overdose crisis, and how to use Naloxone. We currently are run by 34 Tri-Cities youth, who devote their time to teach other youth about the importance of staying safe while we navigate this toxic drug epidemic. We ran a successful warm clothing drive, and donated donations to fellow wonderful community organizations, like ACCESS Youth Outreach Services, Phoenix Society, 3030 Gordon, and more.
Here is a summary of our accomplishments:
We reached over students with de-stigmatizing education about BC’s overdose crisis
We ran (and are still running!) a successful warm clothing drive
We grew our team from 22 to 34 volunteers
We partnered with community organizations like ACCESS Youth to do ride-alongs to reach at-risk youth with harm reduction tools
We partnered with SHARE Society to run presentations to parents of youth experiencing substance use struggles
We appeared in NATIONAL news – on TV, radio shows, and newspapers!
We started launching NaloxHome SFU – a partnership between The FentaNIL Project at SFU, and SD41 (Burnaby)
We started presentations in Burnaby, at an alternative-based school
We began the process to apply for a Society Number in BC
We received a Passion to Purpose grant
We attended and represented NaloxHome at community events including Recovery Days, International Overdose Awareness Day, Men's Mental Health Week, and more
To list all of the community organizations and individuals who helped us grow this year, would take dozens of pages to write. Though I can’t list you all, but wish I could, I can thank a few of these organizations for their support. Thank you to Port Moody Soccer Club and SHARE Family & Community Services for allowing us to meet in your spaces. Thank you SHARE, as well, for your staff’s support and mentorship – namely James, Jordyn, Claire, and so many more. Thank you to SD43 for continuing to host our presentations and spread the word about our services. Thank you to everyone on the Tri-Cities Community Action Team for giving us the opportunity to be present at community events, where we have reached so many people, and for the stories shared that drive the passion of what we do. To the employees at Fraser Health who fact-check our presentations and show up to our lessons to check-in on us, thank you for your expertise. And a huge thank you to Jessica Williams from ACCESS Youth Outreach Services, for your continued mentorship, guidance and inspiration – I am grateful for you.
As we move into 2023, we couldn’t be more excited for what we have planned. To the youth in the Tri-Cities – consider our joining our team. Whether you have skills in social media, presentation, research, OR just general passion for your community and the health of it, there is a place for you. If you are not a youth in the community, but you feel passionate about NaloxHome and our impact on the community, consider applying for our inaugural Board of Directors. Please email your resume and CV to firstname.lastname@example.org to apply, and our Board Chair, Jessica Williams, will be in contact with you.
Though our aim is to reach as many students as possible with a comprehensive understanding of BC’s overdose crisis, I am also so deeply proud of the community of youth that we have created at NaloxHome. Though we have deep, meaningful conversations about harm reduction, overdose, addiction, mental illness, and the social determinants of health, we genuinely have fun, As we are a diverse group – in races, sexual orientations, gender identities, careers, education, and histories of substance use – we are bonded by our common goal: to help others. Creating this sub-community has taught me the importance of purpose, belonging, contribution, and involvement, and how these elements are important on a wider scale in preventing overdose and mental illness.
Remember – you don’t have to leave your own postal code to make a big difference in the world.
Chloe Goodison & Everyone at NaloxHome