WINNIPEG — Recovering addicts who have relied heavily on Main Street Project’s intoxication unit are speaking up after hearing a restructuring to the hours it’s open could be coming in a matter of weeks.
The Murdocks relied on the Main Street Project to help them as they battled with addictions. Now, both recovering addicts, they said they’re heartbroken to hear that a lack of funds means a restructuring at a the place that was part of saving their lives.
As Global News discovered on Thursday, the “Intoxicated Persons Detention Area” (IPDA) at the Main Street Project is facing partial closures.
The organization said with the hundreds and thousands of dollars they’ve been losing over the years, they would be forced to close the IPDA during daytime hours for the intoxication unit to stay open during the overnight hours, when roughly 80% of the intakes occur.
“I knew that was a place for me to go to, so to see it, to see hours get cut or departments be closed in that building is pretty tough to see,” Joshua Murdock said.
Murdock said he turned to the drunk tank and the Main Street Project as a whole to guide him through his recovery.
His grandmother, Alice Murdock, worked there for 30 years, starting in 1973, the year after it opened.
Alice Murdock said while she worked there she noticed it wasn’t just the overnight that saw the most people needing help coming in.
The Murdock family fears any cut back in hours means a cut back in help for the most vulnerable in the community.
Amanda Murdock has been sober for seven years and she fears where the people needing help will actually end up.
“You go to a place where the day time hours are gone, then where do you end up? I think the options are pretty clear. You end up on the street and you end up dead,” Amanda Murdock said.
The Murdocks said they and their recovery circle of friends all fear what’s to come next if the funds are low to keep Main Street Project running.
“What’s next? You cut hours, next you close a department, then you close another detox, what’s next. Like where does it stop,” Joshua Murdock said.
If the daytime closures come to fruition in the next few weeks, they said there’s a fear that other necessities will be clogged up then, including emergency rooms.
Emergency rooms are already on the chopping block, with three set to be removed in the next 6-24 months.
But, if not the emergency rooms, the next fear is that while the drunk tank is closed people will be sent to jails.
“You’re also exposing them to another faction of people, criminal activity and elements that they may not have been participating in to fuel their addiction, but they might end up doing because they’ve been exposed to the opportunities that go with that type of behavior.”