Weathered is a digital photography exhibition + fundraising campaign for Overdose Awareness Day (August 31st, 2020) raising awareness for overdose death and funds for Street Health's life saving Overdose Prevention Site.
Families that have lost loved ones to an overdose, submitted photographs of their loved ones shoes, favourite items + mementos. Their heartfelt submissions, images + stories showcase the emotional toll that the overdose crisis has had on the thousands of families that have been impacted.
We collaborated with professional photographer Jessica Okonski to produce the Weathered Photography Guide, to provide guidance to participants, and to produce the promotional campaign video.
BE THE FIRST TO KNOW WHEN THE CAMPAIGN LAUNCHES:
Overdose Prevention Sites save lives. They have been statistically shown to: reduce the number of fatal drug overdoses in a community, reduce the cost of health care services, and connect those struggling with vital health and social services. Despite this need, Street Health’s OPS lost provincial funding in March 2019.
Street Health serves a ‘hot spot’ neighbourhood in Toronto for overdose, and will run out of private funding by March 2021. Help us keep this life-saving service open for those who need it most.
The goal of Weathered is bring awareness to the growing number of National overdose deaths and to raise funds for Street Health's Overdose Prevention Site.
Street Health’s Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) opened in June 2018 as a response to the increased level of overdoses in the Sherbourne and Dundas area of Toronto. This region had the second highest number of calls related to drug overdoses.
In March 2019, the Ontario Government abruptly ended funding for this OPS, even as spikes in overdoses have been a regular occurrence due to the poisoned street drug supply. Fortunately community donors have supported the continued operation of the OPS since this defunding. Street Health has funding in place for the OPS to operate to March 31, 2021 and is actively looking for funding to maintain this life saving service.
Street Health continues to explore every option because the need has not stopped. In 2019/20 the OPS supported over 3,000 client visits and reversed over 50 overdoses. This site is a resource for the community with over 600 referrals to other healthcare services being made annually, a vital support to those who rely on this service.
In addition to taking select photographs for Weathered, Jessica will be mentoring families through the process of taking their own photographs through the production of a PDF 'how-to guide' and three video call support sessions.
Jessica's conceptual work revolves around feelings of isolation and mental health, where her subjects faces are often omitted or hidden. Jessica Okonski believes in the power of an image, and how entire narratives, paragraphs and conversations can be drawn from a single, thoughtful composition.