2012 - Jess Tilley moved to Western MA after leaving her position as Overdose Prevention Coordinator/Site Manager of the Cambridge Needle Exchange at AIDS Action Coalition. Despite the existence of fixed syringe access programs, she was keenly aware of underserved and unserved populations of drug users specifically marginally housed and homeless youth, sex workers and Latino and African American communities, many of whom are distrustful of institutionalized health care. Drawing upon two decades of harm reduction experience she organized an underground syringe access and naloxone distribution out of her home. Supplies were donated from various sympathetic organizations across the United States and Canada when they had surplus supplies. However, this is not a consistent source of materials. Overdose and overdose death have risen dramatically increasing the need for expanded services, however because our supplies are inconsistent and predominantly donated we have never been able to meet demand.
2017 - Albert Park joined HRH413. His background is as a harm reduction therapist licensed in CA. He was one of the original counselors at The Stonewall Project, a program of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Stonewall, founded by Michael Siever is a low/no threshold outpatient harm reduction treatment program for gay and heteroflexible men and MSM. Albie began his career in traditional 12 step abstinence based treatment. His evolution into a staunch harm reductionist grew out of a need for the broadest choices for people to identify issues and strategize solutions as wanted, needed and agreed to. This might include 12 step and abstinence. However, Albie makes a distinction between the program and the people in the program. Sometimes, people are not interested in total abstinence and focus on some problematic substance of choice only. In general, people's goals address frequency of use, method of ingestion, duration of use and or quantity of substance used. Sometimes people want only to reduce the harm associated with use. Others, might want to talk about what is going on and decide to change nothing. His simple philosophy is people need to find whatever works for them.