The protest against a Safe Injection Site that numerous Civic Associations had planned for this Friday, April 19th at the intersection of Kensington and Allegheny has been cancelled.
Shannon Farrell, President of the Harrowgate Civic Association, made the announcement on social media today following the release of a statement from Mayor Jim Kenney.
Farrell met with Kenney, representatives from Safehouse and other community members on Monday to discuss challenges surrounding the potential opening of a Safe Injection Site at 1800 Hilton Street.
In the statement, Kenney said “Valid public safety concerns have been raised by the community in and around Kensington and I have informed Safehouse that those safety concerns must be addressed before the establishment of an OPS.” Kenney now refers to the sites as Overdose Prevention Sites.
Kenney followed by saying that he is urging Safehouse to look at other prospective sites. He reiterated his support for opening Injection Sites in the city. “The data says that it will save lives, reduce the transmission of infectious disease, and help connect individuals suffering with substance use disorder to treatment and other services. It will also reduce the litter associated with open-air drug use.”
Farrell said that this isn’t the end of their battle, but since the site isn’t opening anytime soon, the protest on Friday will be cancelled, especially considering it being a holiday (Good Friday) for many residents. Rain is also being predicted for Friday.
“Let’s take a breath and we will continue pushing forward with our lawyer and supporting US Atty McSwain,” Farrell said.