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Women-only supervised consumption site opens in Downtown Eastside

Last Updated May 16, 2017 at 3:08 pm PST

(iStock Photo)

SisterSpace offers a women-only space for supervised drug use

The clinic on Dunlevy St can accommodate up to 15 women at a time

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Canada’s first women-only supervised consumption site has opened its doors in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

Like any site, women visiting SisterSpace can use their own illicit drugs under the supervision of trained workers who carry naloxone. They’ll also have access to a clinic, including pregnancy tests, as well as screening and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.

Bonnie Wilson with Vancouver Coastal Health says they have many mixed-gender services, but some women may not feel comfortable using them.

“There’s definitely a segment of the population of women who feel more comfortable, they feel safer participating in women-only services. Especially for women who’ve experienced trauma or gender-based violence.”

“So they may feel much more welcomed, safe, secure in a site that is specifically for women and that is designed specifically to meet their needs. It’s important for us to have that as an option.”

Wilson says the space can also accomodate more women who just want to drop in and use their lounge, kitchen, washrooms or showers.

The new clinic, called SisterSpace is open from 6 a.m. to noon and from 6 p.m. to midnight every day, and can accommodate up to 15 women at a time. SisterSpace is at 135 Dunlevy St.