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An Open Letter to Windsor City Council from local faith leaders
We are writing to you to express our support for the Consumption and Treatment site set to open at 101 Wyandotte St. E. We believe that this is a life-saving service and should not be delayed for any reason.
We have come to know the opioid crisis within the lives of our communities of faith and some of us have come to know it personally. Naloxone was distributed to many of our congregations last year by the Health Unit. We read of ever growing numbers of overdoses, deaths and public health warnings and we bear witness to the damage done by drug overdoses at funerals and at prayer.
We are encouraged that WECHU and other organizations have put time and expertise into this site that is just weeks from opening. By providing support through drug checking services, supervised consumption, sterile supplies, basic medical and addictions services this site will save lives.
We remind you that this Consumption and Treatment site has already been approved democratically. This is, by majority, something the community has demonstrated it wants. Years and years of work and consultation with community partners, residents, and businesses cannot be discarded. If there is a motion against the current location, there has to be correlating community data which proves the residents, community partners, and businesses do not want this here – not anecdotal evidence.
As Christians we believe we are at our best when we are loving and supporting the most vulnerable among us. It’s clear to us that people who use drugs are vulnerable during this opioid epidemic and that harm reduction is love. Faith communities across denominations have been preparing to centre their efforts on helping people in proximity to this Consumption and Treatment site.
We believe that healing and thriving does not happen in isolation. Places that provide shelter, resources, and relationships are central to healing and thriving. This site can be such a place.
For these reasons we pray that you will not withdraw your support from the Consumption and Treatment site. People who use drugs are beloved by God.
Rev Ryan Boivin – Rector The Church of St. David & St. Mark, Windsor St. Andrew’s, Lasalle
Bob Cameron, Executive Director, Downtown Windsor Community Collaborative
Rev. Robert Clifford, Priest, All Saints’ Anglican Church
Rose Talbot Gibson, Deacon, Sandwich Baptist Church
Rev. Kim Gilliland, Minister, Cottam United Church
Rev. Jim Hatt, Chaplain, Downtown Mission of Windsor
Rev. Steven Huber, CSB, Administrator, Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Parish
Rev. Olav Kitchen
Rev. John Lovering, Minister, Comber-St. Andrew’s United Church
Rev. Laura Jo Marzec, Minister, Roseland-Trinity United Church
Rev. Kimberly Myer, Rector, St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, Leamington
Rev. John Palmer, Minister Emeritus, Emmanuel United Church
Rev. Paul Poolton, Priest, St. Augustine of Canterbury Anglican Church
Rev. Maurice Restivo, CSB, Windsor Heritage Catholic Family of Parishes, Saint Alphonsus, Saint Angela Merici, Assumption, Saint Daniel Comboni, Saint Benedict
Drew Riach, Pastor, Exchange Church – Windsor
Rev. Kevin Rogers, Senior Pastor, New Song Church
Rev. Shalini Sankarlal, Minister, University Community Church
Rev. Kevin Saunders, Pastor, New Song Church Lifeline Campus
John Shellhorn, Interim Pastoral Leader, Metropolitan Community Church of Windsor
Rev. Robin Sherman, Minister, Tecumseh United Church
Rev. Rodrigo Emilio Solano-Quesnel, Unitarian Universalist Church of Olinda, Kingsville
Rev. Del Stewart, Minister, Westminster United Church
Rev. Sylvia Swiatoschik, Minister, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Leamington
Rev. Andreas Thiel, Priest and Pastor, St. Matthew’s Anglican Church
Brad Watson, Pastor, Exchange Church – Windsor
Rev. Andrew Wilson
Rev. Deborah Wilson-Safa, Deacon, St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, Leamington