In case you’re living under a rock and didn’t hear the news, this week a federal judge cleared the way for the nonprofit group “Safehouse” to open the country’s first supervised injection site at the corner of Broad and McKean in South Philadelphia. That’s the Passyunk Avenue intersection with the shopping center.
This a hot button issue here and in other cities. Actually, “hot button” is not the appropriate term. The argument is so heated that it’s like firing a volcano into the sun.
Long story short, supporters say these sites will help fight the city’s opioid epidemic, by providing a clean and sterile environment where medical professionals and social workers can attend to addicts. You’re basically trying to bring people in, get them off the street, and provide them the resources necessary to get clean.
Opponents argue that they don’t want druggies hanging around in Philly neighborhoods, congregating near kids, schools, shops, and whatnot. They argue that these sites only encourage illicit drug use.
Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell is on the Safehouse board of directors, and today he was absolutely lambasted by a South Philly mother:
— Miguel Martinez-Valle (@MiguelMValle) February 26, 2020
Anybody else find it ironic that a framed version of Rendell’s book, A Nation of Wusses, is hanging in the background? Talk about a juxtaposition.
This is just the beginning. The safe injection topic is one of the more splintered and divisive subjects in contemporary Philadelphia.