Victoria – Island Health has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for an Overdose Prevention Services (OPS) provider and location, which will complement existing services in the downtown Victoria core.
Island Health is asking service providers interested in providing low-barrier services that include overdose prevention, harm reduction, peer supports, and witnessed consumption for inhalation and injection to apply. Service providers must provide a strategy for referring people to health care services, treatment and social supports when they are ready. They must also address location requirements and include a plan for community engagement to reduce neighbourhood impact.
The ongoing overdose crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic have increased the need for accessible OPS services that meet people where they are. A new service will help address physical distancing requirements and reduce the risk of overdoses in the community.
Island Health currently funds two Supervised Consumption Services (SCS) and five Overdose Prevention Services (OPS) in Victoria. Most are in supportive housing sites for residents. Two sites – one OPS and one SCS – are open to the public.
The RFP can be viewed at BC Bid at http://www.bcbid.ca/. The contract closes on April 15, 2021 and will be awarded following review and negotiation with successful proponents.
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