Alberta Health has opened up a mobile overdose prevention site outside the Lethbridge Shelter and Resource Centre.

With ARCHES announcing it’s permanently shutting down the 1st Avenue South location in two weeks, the province will now be in charge of running this mobile SCS.

Kassadra Kitz, Press Secretary for the Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions says in a statement to our radio station the site will operate everyday between 8:00 am and 4:00 am the following day, with three consumption booths.

Kitz says the site will work with local partners with a heavy emphasis on access to recovery-oriented supports, such as transitional shelter, detox and referral to treatment.

“The mobile overdose prevention site is a temporary solution while we work with the municipality and key stakeholders to ensure longer-term strategies are in place for people struggling with addiction. As part of the longer-term strategy, there will be recovery coaches hired in Lethbridge to build connections with people who are struggling with addiction and connect them with detox, treatment and recovery,” says Kitz.

Kitz also notes that based on the utilization data we’ve received from the current supervised consumption site operator in Lethbridge, the capacity of this mobile site will be sufficient to serve all ARCHES clients.

The UCP cut off grant funding to ARCHES a few weeks back when an audit found $1.6 million unaccounted for public funds at the 1st Avenue South facility the organization has been operating.