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

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley MLA Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

BC Green Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

Residents encouraged to fill out online survey to provide feedback on regional needs. (Pixabay)
Toronto alternative band July Talk will be performing at the Royal Theatre in December. (Courtesy of July Talk)
Victoria ticket sales begin Friday for live July Talk concert

Juno-winning band scheduled to perform at Royal Theatre at Christmastime

Wanted man Michael Bruce was arrested Wednesday in Langford. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore RCMP find wanted man hiding under mattress

Michael Bruce had multiple warrants out for his arrest in Sooke and the West Shore

Brian Korzenowski rides with Athena, left, and Venus who are safely strapped in and goggled up with the wind in their fur. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to Sooke Road commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

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

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the two patients, a man and a woman likely acquired the virus in the hospital

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth and Attorney General David Eby attend opening of the first government-run B.C. Cannabis Store, Kamloops, Oct. 19, 2018. (B.C. government)
B.C. government to allow home cannabis delivery starting July 15

Added convenience expected to persuade buyers to ‘go legal’

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

BC Ferries’ newest Island Class vessel is experiencing an issue with one of its thrusters off the Algerian coast. Photo courtesy patbaywebcam.com.
BC Ferries newest vessel having mechanical issues in Mediterranean

Island 4 will be repaired in Spain before crossing Atlantic

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Most Read