Sara Carrillo on behalf of the Carlington Community Health Centre Team

In the ever-changing seasons of life, our communities often encounter challenges and transitions. Sometimes, what was once considered a reliable resource becomes outdated, battered, and in need of revitalization. Such was the story of Carlington Community Health Centre's harm reduction dispensing unit, which had served as a lifeline for our community for several years, having served 3000+ individuals over three years. However, as it aged and faced a host of issues, it became clear that a fresh, innovative approach was needed to replace this conventional dispensing unit. The result is Our Healthbox—an innovation that promises to breathe new life into our community.

In a remarkable shift from the old to the new, the Our Healthbox has ushered in a new season of hope for the community and Ottawa as a whole. This state-of-the-art harm reduction dispensing system has set out to address the issues that plagued its predecessor, promising a brighter and more user-friendly future. Unlike its predecessor, Our Healthbox doesn't rely on coins or tokens that were often trapped or
lost in the machine's mechanisms. This simple shift is a game-changer, ensuring that individuals can access the resources they need without the frustration of dispensing failures.

Our Healthbox integrates cutting-edge technology, eliminating the issues often associated with regular vending machines. It provides a friendly, anonymous, and efficient inventory and supply management system. This not only ensures that general health and harm reduction supplies are readily available but also offers real-time insights into the needs of the community. It also offers a directory of services in the community and the surrounding areas, connecting individuals with essential resources. Additionally, it provides health education materials, including naloxone training videos, to empower the community with knowledge and potentially save lives.

Our Healthbox isn't just a machine; it's a community hub. It serves as a platform for community announcements, ensuring that important information reaches those who need it most. The user-friendly interface is designed to make the process of accessing resources simple and stress-free providing essential support, care, and resources to those who depend on us.

As we embark on this new journey, we look forward to a future filled with hope, innovation, and continued support for all.

Carlington Community Health Centre helps individuals take control of their personal health, and works to improve the health and wellbeing of our community as a whole. The Centre provides a wide range of health, mental health and addictions services to parents and children, youth and teens, and seniors. We deliver these services through workshops, drops-ins, support groups, community meetings, training, outreach, counselling, and education programs. The Centre also helps Carlington residents resolve problems and advance concerns in the community by providing organizational support and advocacy assistance to local groups and associations. Visit www.carlingtonchc.com to learn more.