WRITTEN BY CURTIS GILLESPIEPHOTOGRAPHED BY DAVID GUENTHER
Bruce came into the healing circle, a quiet room across the hall from asupervised consumption site in Lethbridge. He sat down, twisting one legover the other, chewing on a fingernail, looking hesitant. Bruce (not his realname) moved to Lethbridge to be closer to his son, who came to the citywith his mother.
Things haven’t worked out quite the way Bruce had hoped. He is
homeless and living in a nearby shelter. “I try to stay away from there,
though,” he said softly. “Everybody’s just miserable there. It’s a bad vibe.
I’m just trying to get back on my feet. Every day I try.”
Bruce is using drugs, mostly crystal methamphetamine, and has
experimented with others, including fentanyl. He started doing drugs when
he moved to Lethbridge. That’s how he found himself in the supervised
consumption services area of ARCHES, a non-profit organization in
Lethbridge that offers support to people with HIV, AIDs and hepatitis C, as
well as drug users.
“I’m kind of new to the whole situation. I never really did drugs beforeI came here,” he said. “It’s hard. The racism really gets to me here. WhenI look for work, nobody will even look at me when they see I’m FirstNations.”
Lindsay Stella, the ARCHES supervisedconsumption services programmanager, left, speaks with a client.