My name is Samantha Estoesta, and I am a resident of ward 10 with my partner, Justin, and almost five month old baby, Morgan. The 140 year old house that we own is roughly 6 blocks away from 150 Duke. We bought this house a year ago, knowing that our house was within the “warning” limits of the proposed sites.

I support Councillor Marsh’s motion to turn 150 Duke into a safe consumption site. I tweet about it a lot during nap time. My child will attend Suddaby Public School, 9 blocks away. I will return to working out of the Communitech building after my maternity leave, 5 blocks away. We will attend mass at St. Mary’s on Sundays, 1 block away.

When there is a SCS in DTK, I will feel safer than I do now. Moreover, I will feel much prouder of my city and Region.

Councillor Marsh, I am proud to be your constituent as you show the exact type of leadership that we need in this Region: the ability to listen to academics, frontline organizations, support workers, and those community members who would use a safe consumption site. Moreover, it is people centred.

In January alone, 10 people died from an opioid overdose. 20 as of April 1.

People.

20 people who had sibling, parents, children, partners, and friends. Above all, they were people.

I would like to remind council and the people in this room that dead people can’t buy condos, dead people can’t beautify your Old Berlin neighbourhoods.

With that said, I do not echo the suggested motions to ban 115 Water Street from into a temporary consumption site in the interim if chosen. I’m sure Violet, Jenny, Johnny and the many others who would use or work at a temporary CTS would agree: we cannot spend the entire timeline of renovations at 150 Duke without a CTS.

Mayor Vrbanovic, at the SOTC last week, you said: “Change for Kitchener is strength, it’s community, it’s prosperity.”

I implore this council, to have the strength

⁃ To support Councillor Marsh’s motion to create an SCS at 150 Duke,

⁃ To create a healthcare community that will treat those with addictions with humanity, while giving access to supports to transition them to sobriety

⁃ To tie our metrics on prosperity to keeping people alive instead of NIMBYism

Creating an SCS at 150 Duke will be a big change for Kitchener. But, as you said yourself, Mayor, “above all, it’s good.”

Thank you.

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