Central City Foundation re-opened Abbott mansion in 1999 and to this day it continues to be a model for other SROs in the neighbourhood. The management works to keep the building free of the drug dealing, violence and harassment that so often exist in Downtown Eastside hotels. Central City Foundation keeps the rents at or below the shelter allowance provided by social assistance and affordable for those with very low incomes – with the help of our commercial tenants on the ground floor.
Since 2006, we’ve rented office space in the Abbott to the Crosstown Clinic, which researches whether heroin can be used therapeutically to treat chronic heroin addictions in people who have not responded to other treatment methods. The researchers had trouble finding office space due to concerns about drug users frequenting the building. Central City Foundation looked beyond these concerns to see the social impact of this organization. The Crosstown Clinic is the only clinic in North America to offer medical-grade heroin and the legal analgesic hydromorphone within a supervised clinical setting to chronic substance use patients.
This program is not only saving lives it is changing lives. The health team at Crosstown serve their participants with dignity and respect and a holistic approach to their health, including addressing all of their needs such as food security, housing and finance by meeting them where they are at.
“They are not having to fight that addiction all of the time. Sure, they have rough days and they have bad patches, but they know that we will always be here and that we care about them and there is no judgment. That helps the community heal, being able to care for a person and not have to label them with a whole bunch of stigmatizing things… An amazing outcome of being in a program, in treatment, being cared for and working with health care providers that you have actually changed the way you feel about yourself.”
—Julie Foreman, Manager, Crosstown Clinic