The WINS Program
The WINS Program (Working to Improve Neighbourhood Safety) is a partnership between the Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services, Sanguen Health Centre, and the cities of Cambridge, Kitchener, and Waterloo. The program initially was launched in Cambridge in April 2018 as a pilot project. It was a successful endeavor and as a result the program has expanded to include Kitchener and Waterloo while continuing to operate in Cambridge.
Peer Outreach Workers, with lived or living experience, are hired and trained to safely find and dispose of improperly disposed syringes, while providing education about safe disposal, and facilitating connections to provide positive outcomes within the community. They focus on areas most impacted by improper sharps disposal.
While the primary goal of the program is to proactively search for and properly dispose of harm reduction supplies, the objectives of the program extend beyond this. The WINS program aims to:
- Reduce the number of discarded needles in the community
- Educate people who use substances of proper disposal options
- Increase meaningful employment opportunities for people with barriers to traditional employment
- Create a positive community response related to harm reduction and substance use
Looking for more information about WINS:
What do you do if you find a needle?
It is important that people continue to call 519-575-4400 if they find a needle. They will be provided with information about what to do.
Teach children to never touch a needle and to tell an adult if they see one.
Safely picking up a needle can be quick and easy. Instructions are available on the Public Health website or by calling 519-575-4400.
People who find a needle in the City of Waterloo on city-owned property can contact email@example.com or by phoning (519) 886 1550. Trained staff in sharps removal/discovery will then respond and remove the sharp.