What Is The WINS Project?

The WINS Project (“Working to Improve Neighbourhood Safety”) is a a 1-year pilot that is the result of partnership between the Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services, Sanguen Health Centre, and the City of Cambridge. The program launched in April 2018.

The primary goal of the project is to proactively search for and dispose of harm reduction supplies. The team will also provide education about safe disposal and facilitate connections to create positive outcomes within the community.

Cambridge was selected to pilot the peer-based needle recovery project due to its proactive approach in cleaning harm reduction litter.

The WINS Project will be evaluated to understand its effectiveness.

Why Sanguen?

Sanguen Health Centre is passionate about harm reduction – we’ve had a strong harm reduction program in place since 2011. Through this program, our agency has successfully recruited, trained, and utilized Peer Outreach Workers to work in numerous locations across Waterloo Region, including Cambridge. We love our Peer Workers!

Sanguen is also passionate about keeping our communities safe; this includes the need to prevent and remedy improper harm reduction supply disposal. Our staff are part of several harm reduction-focused committees in Waterloo Region, including the Harm Reduction Disposal Working Group, and we provide education and training focused on harm reduction throughout the Region.

How Does The WINS Project Work?

Specially-trained Peer Workers are out in the community regularly, following predetermined routes, to seek out and properly dispose of harm reduction supplies. These routes are created based on a number of factors and the input of numerous agencies and groups. The team does not take calls directly from the public for disposal issues – those concerns should still be directed to the City of Cambridge.

If you find a discarded needle anywhere in Cambridge (public and private property), you can contact the City of Cambridge:

  • By phone at (519) 623-1340
  • By email at cleanup@cambridge.ca
  • Report online

Who Are Peer Workers?

Peer Workers for this project are passionate members of the Cambridge community who have lived experience with substance use. This dedicated team is committed to a positive and healthy community, because Cambridge is their home! Peer Workers use their experiences and knowledge to identify harm reduction litter, remove it, and to educate individuals in the community about safer disposal methods.

Employing people with lived experience gives them an opportunity to give back to their community, use their knowledge and experience to keep people safer, and to develop new skills and connections.

How Can I Get More Information?

For media inquiries, please contact Violet Umanetz by email (vumanetz@sanguen.com) or by phone/text at 519-574-722.

For all other inquiries, please contact the WINS Peer Coordinator, Kim Hanlon by email (kim@sanguen.com) or by phone/text at 519-497-8768. You can also call Sanguen’s office at 519-603-0223.