Updated: May 19, 2021 08:17 PM
Created: May 19, 2021 06:11 PM
GLOVERSVILLE - Ginger Cato has gone door to door, hoping to show people how to save someone's life using Narcan.
"And we ask them are you interested in Narcan training. We try to convince them to get trained and then they step out on the porch or the front steps, we do a quick training, and give them a kit," she said.
Cato is with Rob Constantine Recovery Community and Outreach Center, which is taking part in the first Neighborhood Engagement Unit event this year.
At the Elk Street Playground on East Fulton and Market Street, there will be pizza and cookies, and people will be able to find help for things like recovery and treatment and mental health.
The giveaway bags are packed and ready to go.
"I think people still have some stigma about walking through our doors at the recovery center, but if we go out to where they are, they're more open to accepting services," said Cato.
"Trying to get people to understand there are more services out there and to engage with the correct services for their needs has the ability to not only benefit our community as a whole, but maybe reduce some of the call load on a very busy police department," said Gloversville Police Chief Anthony Clay.
Lashawn Hawkins is taking part in the effort. The founder of the group I Can Breathe And I Will Speak hosts weekly outreach events.
"A lot of people don't utilize the mental health services we have, so Cornerstone has joined me in providing mobile counseling to the people in our community where they come to people's homes or meet them somewhere, as opposed to going to an actual building for the services," said Hawkins.
Gloversville is tackling an opioid crisis. Police say they had double-digit fatal overdoses last year. Officers responded to more than 40 overdose complaints, and saved dozens of people.
Teams will be doing Narcan demonstrations in the park, and taking them door to door to train any willing resident on their porch or doorstep.
Free pizza and cookies are added incentives.
The Neighborhood Engagement Unit event will be Thursday, May 20, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Elk Street Playground.
The chief says they plan to hold five more this year, one in each ward.
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