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I don’t believe that harm reduction and 12-step recovery are the polar opposites they’ve been made out to be. But like many others, my introduction to harm reduction work was not without its awkward moments. As a first-year graduate social work student, I learned about all of the harm reduction tools provided to program participants on the first day of my field placement. I knew the agency offered clean syringes to folks using intravenous drugs in order to help prevent the spread of blood-borne diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C. It was a shock to me, however, to learn that we also provided cookers, cotton, saline, tourniquets, safe smoking kits, and more. The staff member giving me a tour of the office on my first day noticed the look of consternation on my face and graciously addressed the question he’d assuredly answered hundreds of times before from novices like myself— “isn’t this enabling?” 

Lamont and James just voted!

This election season is monumental in several ways. In addition to there being a highly competitive presidential race set in a country still battling a pandemic, voters in Philadelphia will have greater access than ever before to early voting in these final weeks before November 3rd. The City is launching a total of seventeen “satellite election offices,” where people can register to vote, apply to get a mail ballot, and submit their ballot all in one trip. This increased access is huge in battling voter disenfranchisement, especially for our Pathways participants who may struggle with logistical barriers to participation. 

Food drive

Clifford is a long-standing participant in the Pathways to Housing program and has been a beacon of light within Team 6. Cliff joined the program 11 years ago after spending 9 years experiencing homelessness.  Through the supports he found within the Pathways to Housing community, Cliff was able to secure an apartment and foster relationships with staff and fellow participants. As he became more secure, his desire to give back to his community grew.  

We welcomed six new members to our Board of Directors this month to join us in our mission to provide homes, restore health, and reclaim lives. Welcome to Kelly, Jeff, Megan, Lisa, Mark, and Pam! 

Eleanor

Self confidence is a struggle for most of us. Appearance plays heavily into self esteem, and the desire to fit in and just look like everyone else is especially strong for folks who have had injuries that affect their appearance. Some turn to cosmetic surgery for a boost to their self esteem, though not everyone has the means or the opportunity to make that happen.

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