Island Health seeks service provider and location for overdose prevention services in Nanaimo

Nanaimo — Island Health has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for an Overdose Prevention Services (OPS) service provider at a new location, which will complement and improve access to life-saving overdose prevention services in the Nanaimo region. 

The ongoing dual public health emergencies (drug poisoning/overdose crisis and COVID-19 pandemic) have increased the need for life-saving OPS sites.

The current OPS in Nanaimo, located at 437 Wesley Street, needs a larger site that is capable of accommodating both inhalation and injection substance consumption as well as ancillary health care services such as physician and nursing care including addictions medicine and primary care.

In the RFP, Island Health is seeking a service provider to provide expanded services that include overdose prevention, harm reduction, peer supports, and witnessed consumption for inhalation and injection.

Additionally, Island Health is seeking a new location for these services that is accessible to all people, low barrier, person-centred and engagement-oriented and offers a trauma-informed, culturally safe and supportive environment.

As part of the RFP process, proponents must include a strategy for referring people to health care, harm reduction and treatment services and social supports when clients are ready for additional engagement.

Proponents must also address location criteria and include a plan for community engagement and mitigation to proactively address any concerns through open dialogue and community involvement. Island Health is committed to providing life-saving services at OPS sites while mitigating potential impacts on neighbourhoods and communities.

Island Health funds seven OPS sites across Vancouver Island for public access as well as several OPS rooms and Housing Overdose Prevention and Peer Services (HOPPS) teams that provide overdose prevention services in supportive housing sites for residents on the South Island. Island Health collaborates with people with lived experience, service providers, local Community Action Teams, municipalities and police units to develop services that meet people where they’re at. 

The RFP can be viewed at BC Bid at The deadline for submissions is February 15, 2022 and the contract will be awarded following review and negotiation with successful proponents.