Our Prototyping Journey
How we are testing our idea
Ithaca will create a physical mock-up of the one-stop-shop and engage substance-use affected individuals (including users, high-risk neighbors) and social service agencies in providing feedback on if and how they would interact with the space.
Our idea will impact all people who use drugs, as well as those who work with, related to or live in environments where drugs are used.Stephen Smith, City Councilman
What we're discovering through testing
The Ithaca team hired an architect with experience in designing for safe consumption settings to help to build 3D renderings of what the space will look like. Bringing in this expertise has allowed the team to think about aspects of the design of the physical space which they would have otherwise overlooked. For example, the team must consider that individuals will need storage for their possessions in order for them to feel comfortable using the space.
When you have a topic with a level of controversy attached to it, you’re always gonna have challenges with stakeholders in the community.Michelle McElroy, Deputy Executive Director, Southern Tier AIDS Program
Safe injection spaces can be controversial with certain members of the population. The team is learning how to address people’s concerns and move the conversation in a more constructive direction. This can mean working with key individuals who oppose the idea to inform them how it would work as part of a suite of solutions to address opioid addiction. Online, the team has been keeping their finger on the pulse to make sure discussions about the topic are furnished with evidence and context.
Stellar article on Ithaca's Reach Medical. Notes #twIthaca as harm reduction leader & city's selection as @BloombergDotOrg #MayorsChallenge finalist. @NYGovCuomo, let us innovate—say #YesToSCS. #EndOverdoseIthaca #EndOverdoseNY @AllegedButler @SvanteMyrick http://www.ithaca.com/news/ithaca/a-compassionate-approach-keeping-people-alive-is-at-the-core/article_287aedee-5ea6-11e8-991c-ef35c89e9297.html …1:55 PM - 23 May 2018 kcelentano
What we've learned
The team knew that to get popular support for their idea, careful communication would be key. Through testing, they learned that messaging focused on ‘lives saved’ was dramatically more effective than messaging that focused on cost savings or public safety. Secondly, posts on social media - rather than printed posters - proved to be an effective way to educate and correct misinformation on Safer Consumption Spaces.