Saskatchewan's first supervised consumption site opens its doors today.
The Saskatoon site, run by Prairie Harm Reduction, is opening after thousands of dollars of donations from the community.
The organization originally wanted to open the site 24/7, but after the provincial government denied its request for $1.3 million in funding in March, the site's hours will be limited to Monday to Friday daytime only.
The supervised consumption site will provide clean tools and have a paramedic on site, with the intent of reducing the risk of fatal overdoses and catching disease from shared needles or pipes.
Brendan Rogal knows all about drugs in the neighbourhood where the site is located.
He's the caretaker for St. Mary's Church at 20th Street and Ave. O S., right next door to Prairie Harm Reduction. Rogal was out sweeping the grounds early Thursday morning, working around people doing drugs at the back of the church.
"The last couple years especially we've seen a lot of challenges with drug addiction in the neighbourhood, kind of all day long you see people ingesting drugs," he said.
"Shooting up. Putting needles in their arms, sometimes in their neck or their head or their feet."
Rogal says he doesn't know what sort of impact the site will have, saying the problem is complex and that there's no single solution.