The Harm Reduction and Overdose Prevention program provides life-saving harm reduction and health services and mobilizes constituents to combat drug user stigma and advocate for recovery-oriented systems.
Kendrick has been coming to HEAL for the past four years. Initially, he came to attend a transgender meeting for adults. “It answered a lot of my questions and I was able to answer some questions for people attending the group,” Kendrick explains.
He has had a long journey. He was uncertain about his sexuality since he was a child. At 16, he first came out as a lesbian, and his mother said that she already knew. Finally, at 19 he realized that he really was a man. He also used the syringe exchange after he started using IV drugs at 25. He had never used the exchange before but found the experience educational as he learned information about harm reduction and self-care. He’s been sober for three months. Kendrick values the relationships he’s built at HEAL through the exchange.
He feels great about himself now. “I have almost died – a lot. Every time I had a rough day, I would come to HEAL. Coming here opened me up. I am a very judgmental person. There are so many different people who come to HEAL. I realized we’re all human and this place made me always feel comfortable – like I could go home and live another night.” Kendrick feels like he has a family here at HEAL. He’s started volunteering and feels happy about who he is now. “If I didn’t do this transition, I’d probably be dead. I wasn’t happy. I came a long way as a drug addict and as a transgender man.”
304 Hancock Street, Suite 3B