HOMELESS HEALTH CARE LOS ANGELES
512 E. 4th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
HARM REDUCTION CENTER - NEEDLE EXCHANGE
Recognizing that all individuals deserve services and should be able to access these services regardless of their drug use, Homeless Health Care Los Angeles provides needle exchange and other supportive services at the Harm Reduction Center located in the Downtown Skid Row area.
This critical, life-saving program not only decreases the number of injectors sharing syringes and potentially contaminated cookers, cotton, rinse water, and other paraphernalia that have been associated with the transmission of HIV, Hepatitis, and other infectious diseases, but also offers a place for the safe disposal of such materials, thus removing them from possible public contact. By providing this service we seek to protect and improve the health and safety of the user, their families, associates and/or partners, as well as the community at large.
We do not attempt to downplay the potential risks of drug use, but rather, seek to mitigate the negative consequences associated with injection drug use by utilizing a set of practical harm reduction strategies. Therefore, drug use is addressed as a public and personal health issue— services are not contingent upon abstinence from drugs. We meet participants in their environment, accept them as they are, and assist them in meeting their identified needs or concerns. This approach and perspective allows staff to focus on the immediate harms in the injector’s life and work towards realistic, achievable goals. The non-judgmental nature of the harm reduction program fosters a climate in which active injection drug users begin to learn about substance use treatment options, health care, mental health care, and other ancillary support, and contemplate seeking such assistance, and when they are ready, access these resources.
- Sterile syringes
- Safe injection supplies and other materials and information
- Medical services (abscess and wound care), health screenings (TB screening, HIV and Hepatitis counseling and testing)
- Naloxone overdose prevention and response training program
- Access to substance use and mental health treatment services (detox, residential, outpatient)
- Weekly harm reduction and therapy support groups
- Other ancillary support- case management, individual and group counseling, and transportation