The West Hollywood Project is hosting a Safe WeHo Community Coalition Meeting on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, at 2pm. The online meeting will cover the dangers of meth use and raise awareness on harm reduction initiatives. There will also be talks of ways to launch a panel discussion on racism surrounding substance abuse.
“Coming into its second year, the Safe WeHo Community Coalition has continued to grow in its efforts to prevent methamphetamine harms in West Hollywood,” Alexis Sanchez, Assistant Program Manager with the Institute for Public Strategies (IPS), told WEHO TIMES. “Last year we created some tremendous community-centered programming, and this year we’re looking to continue creating great virtual programming that raises awareness about meth harms and builds support for harm reduction initiatives.”
Sachez says there will be no guest speakers this month, however there is much to discuss from a policy perspective. “I hope to bring subject matter experts and community leaders to future meetings to help highlight different narratives around meth use and prevention,” she said. “It’s a jam-packed meeting this month! We’ll be talking about a couple of state-level harm reduction bills and building support for a city-level public safety initiative. I’ve been working on a report using the latest West Hollywood and LA County data around meth use. The data is alarming, and I think people will continue to appreciate that more needs to be done to reduce meth use in our community. We’ll also be talking more about our advocacy platform — interventions we recommend to reduce meth use in West Hollywood, including establishing a West Hollywood Sobering Center and expanding funding for needle exchange programs. These types of initiatives have shown promise in other cities.
The meeting will be discussing ways to host a panel on race and substance use disorders to to highlight what some of the barriers to treatment and recovery that people of color and those with intersecting marginal identities face, and what that looks like in the city of West Hollywood. The topic of race and addiction was prompted by the larger nationwide conversations on structural racism and what that looks like from a local level.
The meeting is geared towards anyone who wants to know more about harm-reduction or has lost a loved one to addiction and wants to do more to prevent overdoses and meth harm. Concerned residents, community groups, or anyone who lives, works or plays in West Hollywood are encouraged to attend.
“We want to build a coalition of diverse voices that work together while uplifting the most marginalized,” Sanchez added.
The link to the Safe WeHo Zoom Community Coalition meeting can be found at the event’s page on Facebook on the day of the actual meeting: https://www.facebook.com/events/329344565130207