Rave Drop-ins at Night
There are many shelters and drop-ins throughout Toronto some of them offer harm reduction services and information. Places like The Meeting Place at queen and bathurst offer free laundry, computer use, free coffee and tea, books, and a “safe” place for people to hang out and do their thing. As long as you are respectful they will allow you to be there.
The main differences between drop-ins and shelters are that anyone can use a drop in while only members can use a shelter. Shelters are for sleeping and for living where drop-ins are for people who need somewhere to stay.
More drop-ins and shelters should have more safer use kits (crack pipes, needle kits, foils, etc) and needle drop-off boxes at the places even at youth drop ins. It’s better to have a person who uses drugs feel safe and secure with access to other services if they want then out on the streets fending for them self.
Drop-ins offer shelter from the cold and rain as well as finding shelter for people in need. If you need a shower you can get one or if your socks are wet from the snow just pop in and dry them off. Anyone at anytime can use them. These are community facilities and not just for the homeless. The vibe that we attract to these drop ins are made from the people we commit to being there the people we tend to show up are often in a bad situation but it beats just hanging out with a cellphone at a McDonalds.
Honestly for the rave community i would like to see things like The Meeting Place open all night. For out of town ravers this could be a hub of community that would keep people off the streets and in a safe spot with heat, computers, and free coffee. The city of toronto should offer more spots for ravers to hang out after parties as there are many out of towners that come in and then don’t have a place to hang out after.
Honestly if we tied this to harm reduction and had housing information, public outreach, condoms, needle boxes, and crack kits we may see less people hanging out in parks and more in shelters.
Now while some behaviour may seem illegal at least they are known addicts. Addicts will be friendly if they feel safe if they don’t they act aggressive to new people. Addicts take care of themselves and their family. While it looks like most people need help in these situations many can take care of themselves. So what we would be providing in more safety. WIth more drop-ins at night we are looking at safer streets for pedestrians and safer parks for others while people with dependency problems, partiers, ravers, and ne’er do wells are safe in a drop-ins.