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Mural to convey theme of caring at supervised drug treatment site | CBC News

When its doors open sometime this year, London’s new supervised drug treatment site will have a look that’s familiar to many in the Forest City. 

A mosaic by ceramic artist Susan Day will adorn the front wall of the new Carepoint Consumption and Treatment Service at 446 York St. operated by Regional HIV/AIDS Connection.

Day, along with artist Beth Turnbull Morrish, designed the eye-catching wayfinding mosaic murals that are now an iconic part of Old East Village. Her work also appears on the mural outside the London Clay Art Centre at 664 Dundas St.

The consumption site at 446 York St. is a place where drugs can be used under supervision as a way to help prevent fatal overdoses. It’s also a place where clients can connect with services, including addiction treatment. 

Day made the announcement about the new mural at her East London studio on Tuesday, and said the project is one close to her heart. 

“I have a personal connection to having lost people to addiction and to overdoses,” she said. “I also live in the core area and people are struggling and I see it every day. I have a naloxone kit in my house and I have one in my studio, and I’ve used them.” 

The mural won’t be installed on the front wall at 446 York. St. until early July, but Day already has the design worked out. It features two figures looking at each other. 

“It’s got this feeling of we’re all watching out for one another,” she said. “That’s an important part of the design.” 

The official unveiling of the mural is expected to happen in co-ordination with International Overdose Awareness Day on Aug. 30. 

For now, Carepoint is operating out of these trailers in the parking lot of what will be London’s new supervised drug treatment site at 446 York St. (Isha Bhargava/CBC News)

For now, Carepoint is operating in the parking lot of 446 York St., through the use of utility trailers. 

Sonja Burke is director of harm reduction for Regional HIV/AIDS Connection. She said the mural will be essential to the function of the building.

“It’s going to be a place where we can host memorials, a place for people who have lost people to come and gather and acknowledge the experience and their loss,” she said.

Burke said it’s important that the artwork create a feeling of welcoming as a way to counter the isolation that often comes with addiction.

“It’s a visual demonstration to people who are accessing these services that they matter, and that the community has provided a place for them to get connections and get health care,” she said. 

Burke and her staff had hoped to be serving clients inside the new location by now, but supply chain issues have repeatedly pushed back the grand opening. She’s now hopeful the site will be fully open by early March, barring any other supply issues.


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