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We must preserve Hamilton’s Wesley Day Centre

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It was with shock and dismay that I learned of the planned closure of the Wesley Day Centre this past week. As a physician with the Shelter Health Network, I have watched many lives be transformed through the work that happens in this space. In the midst of an opioid crisis that is devastating our communities, we need to be insisting that more resources be offered to the people who need them, not fewer.

The Wesley Day Centre provides vital services to the most marginalized people in our community. People come for meals twice a day, can often access food to bring away with them and are not required to show ID or pay money. Folks who are sleeping outside can bring laundry to be washed while they use computers or take showers. I often walk into the Day Centre and am delighted to hear the piano being played by someone who learned long ago in a different life.

The Day Centre also houses a Street Health Clinic. Numerous providers share the space and offer services such as foot care clinics, addiction counselling and on-site Ontario Works (welfare) staff. The Public Health harm reduction team offers a needle exchange program, naloxone training and anonymous HIV testing among other services. The Shelter Health Network provides comprehensive primary care and mental health........

© Peterborough Examiner