Community raises $500K to stop methadone clinic
Residents and businesses raised the funds in just one week
After a frantic fundraising campaign, a Halifax neighbourhood has officially made a deal to buy a house that was set to become a methadone clinic.
The home will be sold to the community which raised $520,000 in a week.
Last month, the Direction 180 clinic announced its plans to treat opiate addicts at the house it had bought on Dutch Village Road. Residents were shocked they weren't consulted before the location was selected.
After raising the final $100,000 over the last two days, businesses and residents in the area are now able to fund a mobile methadone treatment service and stop the controversial methadone clinic from moving into the house on Dutch Village Road.
Cindy MacIsaac, executive director of the clinic, said the mobile clinic is a system that has worked well in the past.
"You identify a safe site, you pull up at scheduled times, people would come onboard, drink their methadone," said MacIsaac.
"If they have a urine that needs to be done, they can do that. There would be a physician on board."
Initially, Direction 180 didn't have the money to staff the mobile clinic. MacIsaac said the original plan was to get the house clinic open, then roll out the van later.
As for the location of the stops, MacIssac said they'll consult with the neighbourhood to pick appropriate sites. She said the money from the Fairview deal can keep the mobile unit running for up to a year an a half.
People in the Halifax region can expect it to reach other communities in the future.
"We're prepared to run with it so that people who are in need of service don't have to wait any longer," said MacIssac. She added that all future projects will be done with upfront public consultation.
MacIssac will head to the U.S. on Monday to pick up the new vehicle. She hopes to have it on the road by Nov. 29.
Direction 180 currently operates a treatment facility on Gottingen Street in Halifax.
Dozens of clients come to the clinic every day for a dose of methadone, a drug used to help control the withdrawal symptoms from opiates.
In a release, the Fairview Community Association said they are still accepting donations at Scotiabank to help fund the project.