We don’t simply open our doors and allow people to freely drink and use drugs on-site. Not everyone who lives at Harbour has an issue with substance misuse but we cater for those people who cannot keep a tenancy elsewhere because of their addiction.
We understand that Addiction is an illness that does not go away overnight. We have strong harm-reduction measures in place in the form of around 60 CCTV cameras with live link-up screens installed across the buildings to ensure that if there is an accident or issue outside of the bedrooms that we can be aware and respond at first sight.
We also have open access boxes containing Naloxone, a drug that reverses an opiate overdose, located at points across all our properties. We have already saved 45 lives with this drug that is there in an emergency situation to bring someone back from a heroin or other opiate overdose and keep them alive whilst an ambulance is on the way.
Overdose is a very real issue amongst people who have been homeless and without our tolerance policy and pioneering the use of Naloxone in Supported Accommodation back in 2009, 45 more lives would have been lost.
Because of our tolerance policy, residents are very open if there is a problem or overdose situation and we aim to treat the whole person rather than see them as simply a drug addict. With the right support and diversionary activities, those who are not ready to abstain from and gain recovery from drug and alcohol addiction straight away can work towards a better way of life whilst having the safety of a roof over their head, rather than being all alone, unaccounted for and risking death in public places or being found on their own somewhere weeks later.
We can work with people after an overdose or dangerous incident to address the impact drugs and alcohol are having on their lives rather than giving up on them. We perform room checks every day for anyone we have not seen that day and have an intercom system across most rooms so residents and staff can communicate easily.