Nonprofit behind proposed safe-injection sites addresses community

For the first time we are hearing from the nonprofit that wants to open the nation's first safe-injection site in the city's Kensington section.

Safehouse Philly wants to open the site on the 1800 block of Hilton Street, but organizers also say they're in talks to open sites in Center City and Northeast Philadelphia.

The site would allow drug users to inject themselves while medical staff are on standby in case of an overdose.

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The site would also connect users to treatment, housing, and other services.

Leaders behind the project attended a community meeting Thursday night to explain why they felt the site was necessary.

"In our zip code alone, there were over 200 deaths in this zip code alone," said Jose Benitez, Director of Prevention Point Philadelphia, "So what we are talking about in terms of trying to save people's lives is a place where people can come in and consume safely under medical supervision. That's what Safehouse is talking about."

If approved, the site would operate in Kensington on Hilton Street temporarily for two years, then move elsewhere.