Mobile Outreach Program

COUNTERfit Mobile Program:

  • The COUNTERfit Mobile Program operates EVERY DAY. 
  • On weekdays, it delivers service between 6:00-12:00pm (midnight)
  • On weekends AND holidays, you can call for harm reduction materials between noon and midnight.
  • Services are delivered right to your home, or anywhere you want within COUNTERfit’s catchment area. 
  • Yousef (or Joe) delivers service between Saturday and Thursday (6 days a week), using his own car. There are no identifying signs on this car – so your neighbours and friends won’t know why Joe is visiting you.
  • The Program Coordinator  delivers service on Friday nights. Most of the time he uses Beck Taxi. 
  • COUNTERfit’s catchment area is:
    • Lakeshore Avenue to Eglinton Avenue East
    • Don Valley Parkway to Victoria park
    • Please note that we’ve crossed these boundaries when we’ve realized you have nowhere else to call. But we encourage you to contact your local service providers and ask them to find a way to deliver services to you.  You’re always better off when you’re being served by your local service provider. Until then, we don’t mind crossing one or two blocks to make sure you remain healthy!

How Fast Does the Mobile Program Work?

95% of the time, the mobile program delivers supplies within 20-30 minutes. Sometimes we receive multiple calls at the same time. We will tell you when this happens so that you have a fairly accurate estimate in terms of when you’re going to get your supplies. Rarely a caller has had to wait for supplies for more than 30 minutes. During the past six months, it took us an average of 23 minutes to deliver your request.

We would like you to remember that others may be waiting for our delivery too – and sometimes the difference between sharing used needles and waiting for our delivery is only a few minutes – so the sooner you greet us, the sooner we can deliver service to the next caller.

General Information:

  • The phone number for the mobile program is: 416.451.1951. To get the supplies as soon as you can, here’s how you can help.
  • When you call us, please indicate clearly:
    • Your name,
    • Your address,
    • The supplies you want delivered,
    • The number of each of these supplies you want
    • Please let us know if you have special concerns (such as, “I don’t want my wife to know – so call and I’ll come out”; or, “The entrance is on the side of the house”; or, “Be careful, Toronto Housing security guards are always watching who is coming into the building. I don’t want them to know I’m getting needles!”)
  • If you’re calling for syringes, please indicate
    • The brand: Terumo or BD
    • The gauge (or thickness of the needle -- usually 27G to 29½G)
    • The size of the syringe (usually ½CC [=50 units] or 1CC [=100 units])
    • Remember that the bigger the gauge, the thinner the needle.  We believe the 27G Terumo syringes are the best for cocaine and heroin injection. If you want to get information regarding what syringe is best for you, please call the program during business hours.
    • Please remember that the needles’ length is almost always the same – half an inch (or 1.125 cms long).  Many folks argue with our staff about this issue and are embarrassed when we put the needles side by side and prove that they are exactly the same length – one just looks longer than the other because of the shape of the tip.  At our fixed site, we do have a few boxes of short needles – but these are too short and are used for special purposes and we don’t have enough to distribute them through our mobile program. But if you can convince us that you need other types of syringes, please let us know and we can try to get them for you.
    • We also distribute 3cc syringes with various lengths and gauges of removable needle tips for intramuscular steroid use and Fentanyl use.
  • Of course we also distribute tourniquets, cookers alcohol swabs, filters (medium and large), sterilized water (to cook your dope), and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C for crack injection or cooking brown H). We also carry vein cream when available.
  • For crack users, we distribute stems, screens, mouthpieces, and pushers, among other things.

Safer Kit Distribution:

  • Our Large or Small Injection Kits have everything you need to inject drugs, including alcohol swabs, filters, water, cookers, tourniquet, matches, Ascorbic acid and information. We include different sizes and gauges of syringes in these kits so that you can experiment with them and decide which one is the best for you.
  • Our Stem Kits have everything you need to smoke crack, including stems, screens, pushers, alcohol swabs and information. 
  • Our Condom Kits were developed by sex workers and are ideal for sex work. But you don’t have to be in the sex trade to use them. The Condom kits include condoms for women.
  • Our Piercing Kits have different gauges of needles for safer piercing, including alcohol swabs and information.

Note:  You’re better off to order your supplies separately if you know what you need. The kits are more appropriate for new service users, or if you’re leaving home and you want to make sure you have all the paraphernalia you need.

Client Cards:

Some callers are reluctant to reveal their names on the phone. This is totally understandable. You don’t have to give us your REAL name. But if you’re going to use another name, please make sure you use the same name all the time. We need this information - as well as your approximate age - for statistical purposes.

We also issue client cards with or without photo. For more on our client cards, click here.

Returning Used Needles:

We are always grateful when you return your used needles to us. A needle exchange program is not successful unless it produces a decent return rate. We provide different sizes of sharps containers so that you can store and return your used needles safely.

Please dump anything that has to do with using legal or illegal drugs in the sharps bins, including cookers, filters, used alcohol swabs, even your ashes if you’ve smoked crack. 

TotalHYPE Magazine, Brochures and Surveys:

TotalHYPE is a COUNTERfit publication mostly written by people who use illegal drugs and deals with the community’s daily realities. We include a magazine every time we get a mobile request. If you don’t want a magazine, please let us know when you call, but we strongly recommend that you have a look at TotalHYPE before asking us not to deliver them to you. Besides dealing with issues that are relevant to you, TotalHYPE advertises about events, jobs, or research that you can take part in (and in the process make a little bit of spending money).

If you want to write an article or a poem or publish a piece of art and have a computer and an email account, please email these directly to Roxanne Smith at rsmith@srchc.com.  Otherwise, you can hand your articles, poems, or works of art to Yousef or to me and we’ll get them to Roxanne. We also include brochures so that you can take advantage of the services we offer at COUNTERfit, or South Riverdale Community Health Centre. If you are arrested, let us know and we’ll have TotalHYPE mailed to you.

A final comment: 

When calling us, please be aware that we could be in a cab or someone else’s apartment. So if we ask you to call back in 5 minutes; or if we let you know that we will call you shortly, we are trying to maintain your confidentiality. Please trust us that we will be serving you as soon as we are able to. 

If you have suggestions for our mobile unit or COUNTERfit in general, please talk with Yousef, or call the Program Coordinator. 

If you have a complaint, you can call the Program Coordinator during regular business hours. We encourage you to talk with our outreach worker first.

In the meantime, don’t forget to call the mobile at 416.451.1951.

Program Offered in the Following Languages: 
English
Program Location: 
COUNTERfit’s catchment area is: Lakeshore Avenue to Eglinton Avenue East. Don Valley Parkway to Victoria park. Please note that we’ve crossed these boundaries when we’ve realized you have nowhere else to call. But we encourage you to contact your local service providers and ask them to find a way to deliver services to you. You’re always better off when you’re being served by your local service provider. Until then, we don’t mind crossing one or two blocks to make sure you remain healthy!
Program Time and Hours: 
On Weekdays, service deliveries are from 6:00-12:00pm (Midnight) On Weekends AND holidays: you can call for harm reduction materials between noon and midnight.
Program Contact: 
Are appointments required for this program?: 
No
Do participants need to register for this program?: 
No
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