WRITTEN BY CURTIS GILLESPIE
PHOTOGRAPHED BY DAVID GUENTHER
Bruce came into the healing circle, a quiet room across the hall from a
supervised consumption site in Lethbridge. He sat down, twisting one leg
over the other, chewing on a fingernail, looking hesitant. Bruce (not his real
name) moved to Lethbridge to be closer to his son, who came to the city
with 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 before
I came here,” he said. “It’s hard. The racism really gets to me here. When
I look for work, nobody will even look at me when they see I’m First
Lindsay Stella, the ARCHES supervised
consumption services program
manager, left, speaks with a client.