The initial initiative for The Nameless, which started last year, was inspired by an angry post on social media about people that were using drugs in the St. Thomas downtown core.
That post led Leticia Mizon to form a group of community members to go out into the community and remove items, specifically needles, from along Talbot Street.
Since then, the group has switched gears and the needle sweeps have been dissolved. They are taking that momentum forward and moving on to create an outreach team in the community, which Leticia says was her plan from the beginning.
“We are currently an all female team, but we are open to all interested folk from all walks of life.” -Leticia Mizon
The outreach group’s goals are to be proactive in the community and to meet people where they are at. Leticia and her group want to keep their outreach team low barrier so they can address gaps in service. Harm reduction is their main priority.
They see harm reduction as providing safe tools to use drugs with along with personal items, and food & water. It is their belief that a harm reduction group will help the people they are trying to reach feel more willing to engage. Part of their harm reduction kits will also include personal disposal boxes for gear, items that provide nutrition, water, condoms, underwear, socks, shoes, and razors.
The end goal is to have teams on the ground in St. Thomas 7 days a week, from 7pm-10pm. Their plan is to eventually have no one on the team without lived experience (mental health, addictions, trauma experiences) and to provide living wage jobs for team members.
They are currently working with Farmer’s Kitchen, Sandra from Inn Out of the Cold, The Central Community Health Centre (CCHC), and Brandon from The Atrium. They are also talking to Malichi from Saint T Fashion & Hair Design to work out a hair cut deals for the people they work with.
They have a GoFundMe and a Facebook page and invite members of the community to join them on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 7pm-10pm. They are looking for donations from the community as well as volunteers (18 and older) to help with their outreach program, preferably with CPR and Naloxone training as well lived experience. If you would like to contact them, you can do so through their Facebook page.
Pictured Above: Amanda Zielinski, Carrie Houston, Leticia Mizon, and Jade McKenzie