HRCSCC works to combat the spread of infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, HCV, and COVID-19; to prevent overdose-related deaths; and to provide education and supplies that counter a multitude of public health threats. We compassionately support the dignity, health, and agency of people who use drugs. While we are slowing building financial sustainability through various grants, we are still lacking the funds to fully meet the needs of our community.
We are a community-based organization dedicated to providing and advocating for services that reduce the harms associated with drug use. Our low-barrier syringe exchange and disposal services operate outside the county-run SSP hours of operation and additionally offers accessibility through a hotline delivery program. We provide naloxone (Narcan) and overdose prevention education, fentanyl test kits, safe injection equipment, wound care, sharps containers, hygiene products, food and water. Moreover, we offer a range of different educational resources , including trainings for our participants and neighboring organizations, and support through referrals to services that extend beyond our reach.
A fundamental aspect of harm reduction work is the connection we build with our participants. We meet people where they are, both figuratively and literally. Ruthy, a program participant, comes to our Sunday exchange to get syringes, alcohol pads, and a hot meal. She credits our syringe exchange for her practice of not reusing needles. For her, the exchange is the first step in regaining agency. “When you’re making these small moves to take care of yourself, it makes you want to take care of yourself even more.”
We are now calling in our allies and comrades to help uplift us and the community we serve in this critical time. A local philanthropist has extended us a most gracious offer! Every dollar you give will be matched up to $70,000. If you’re in the position to give generously, please consider doing so. As a needs-based organization, we want to ensure that no one walks away empty handed. There is no donation too grand, nor too small!
At least half of your donations will go directly to purchasing harm reduction supplies for our participants, allowing us to bridge the current gap in supply funding that exists across the state. The remaining funds will expand our part-time staff positions for two people who have been actively committed to HRCSCC for multiple years. This would ensure the strength of our organizational structure, allowing us to remain a permanent fixture of Santa Cruz County’s public health resources. As a frontline social service provider during COVID-19, and a critical support system for people affected by the recent wildfires, we are more motivated than ever to meet the needs of people who use drugs.
We’re ready to continue to deepen this essential work. Please help us in keeping our commitment to community care and consider donating however much is meaningful to you.
This fundraiser is being posted by Dani Drysdale, the SSP Coordinator for HRCSCC. The funds will be withdrawn directly to HRCSCC, which is a Registered Charitable Trust in California and a fiscal sponsee of the North American Syringe Exchange Network (NASEN), a 501(c)3 nonprofit. If you would like to make a larger tax deductible donation, please refer to this document for instructions on how to donate through our fiscal sponsor: https://bit.ly/HRCSCC-BigDonations
If your employer has a donation matching program you would like to use, please select NASEN as the nonprofit of choice and be sure to leave our name “Harm Reduction Coalition of Santa Cruz County” in the comment section, so that funds will be directed to us.
Donations made through this GoFundMe fundraiser will not be tax deductible.
If you’d like to know more about us, please read on:
We were founded in the Spring of 2018, providing outreach through the doors of a minivan in direct response to the needs of the people. Since then, HRCSCC has grown significantly, through the work of dozens of volunteers and hundreds of program participants, and has become an integral resource for our Santa Cruz community. We were recently honored with two awards from Community Prevention Partners for our commitment to the health and well-being of county residents.
A November 2019 study evaluating syringe access in Santa Cruz County revealed that persons who experienced a lack of syringe access were four times more likely to reuse their own syringes and six times more likely to share a syringe with others. It concluded that the most common barriers to syringe disposal are: limited hours of disposal locations, distance and transportation to locations, and the fear of the presence of police.
HRCSCC addresses these inadequacies by working adjacent to the county-run SSP to expand accessibility and compensate for barriers in scheduling and transportation through our hotline delivery program. Our syringe disposal efforts are furthered by the sweeps we conduct roughly three times a week in densely populated areas
We recognize and value that small changes in care can have profound positive effects in well-being and community health. We all do better when we all do better. Thank you for your support.
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