It was an emotional opening day for London, Ontario’s first monitored consumption and treatment facility.
“Some of the service users who walked in showed a strong emotional response of appreciation and may even have been overwhelmed by the beauty of the facility,” said Brian Lester, executive director of the Regional HIV/AIDS Connection and one of the key people leading the project.
Last week, members of the media and local dignitaries were given a first look at the site at 446 York St. ahead of the opening.
But on Monday it opened to customers for the first time.
Lester said some were overwhelmed.
“Just the dignity that people felt when they walked into this space,” he said. “It was emotional for the service users and it was emotional for the employees. It was really a powerful introduction to the new facility.”
The $2.2 million facility took seven years to set up and was a response to the region’s growing addiction crisis. Lester said he expects the facility to be able to serve up to 100 customers a day.