The organizer of a controversial drug injection site which popped up last week in some downtown Lethbridge parks has started a Go Fund Me campaign to raise money for the cause.

Tim Slaney started the online fundraising initiative a few weeks ago and it’s already brought in over $13,000 in financial support by mid-morning Wednesday (Sept. 30).

Slaney, a former employee at ARCHES, says the new Lethbridge Overdose Prevention Society was founded in response to the Alberta government’s “irresponsible decision to close the Supervised Consumption Site”.

On the Go Fund Me Page, Slaney goes on to say as a group of dedicated harm reduction advocates they “couldn’t sit by and watch our friends, loved ones, and neighbours overdose and die”.

The City of Lethbridge issued the group a $300 fine this week for setting up a tent in a park without having a permit.

Despite some residents upset about the unsanctioned injection site and calls from the province to have it shut down, Slaney says in the coming weeks the group will continue to advocate to Health Canada to recognize them as a response to the urgent public health need in Lethbridge and exercise their power to grant an exemption.