Victoria AIDS centre in final days

Island Health changes funding to new ‘harm reduction model,’ say officials

  • Mar. 27, 2014 12:00 p.m.

Victoria AIDS Resource & Community Service Society (VARCS) is permanently closing its doors March 31, thanks to a new harm reduction model by the region’s health authority.

Since 1991, VARCS has provided respite and community support services to people living with HIV/AIDS through contract funding from Island Health. Last year, VARCS received $165,000 for its work, which includes a region-wide needle exchange program.

Island Health informed VARCS last October that it failed to quality for funding under the health organization’s new comprehensive Hard to Reach service model, which focuses funding on health and mobile harm reduction services and intensive case management outreach teams.

But the non-profit only went public with the news this week.

“The closing of our doors means that people living in the South Island area will have diminished social supports, which could have serious health consequences,” said TJ Furlani, VARCS chair.

Last summer, Island Health asked VARCS and other agencies to present proposals that incorporated its Hard to Reach model.

“That model was predicated on over a year’s worth of work with VicPD and City of Victoria on redesigning harm reduction support in the core Victoria area, and focusing on where there was a gap in service,” said Suzanne Germain, Island Health spokesperson.

AIDS Vancouver Island was the successful proponent of that process, and will now receive $435,000 for harm reduction services, and $278,000 for an integrated case management team annually.

“There has been no budget reduction,” Germain said. “We’ve actually put an additional $500,000 into this service model across (our jurisdiction).”

 

 

Just Posted

Ancient microbes discovered off the Juan de Fuca Ridge potentially offers glimpse into alien life

The marine bacteria is dependent on hydrogen, a compound present almost everywhere

Saanich rental project wins silver by going ‘green’

The Verve rental housing project stands at the corner of Boleskine Road and Whittier Avenue

Volunteers needed for annual Mother’s Day walk

Breast Cancer Society of Canada hosts annual Mother’s Day event

Sidney Lions dish $4,000 to help build on growing trishaw bike charity

Cycling Without Age Society draws attention as far off as Washington

420 celebrations turn over new leaf at B.C. legislature

Cannabis is legal for the first time in the 21-year existence of the 420 event in Victoria

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Easter Sunday blasts kill at least 207 in Sri Lanka

Bodies of at least 27 foreigners were recovered

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

Most Read