Reducing Harm In The East Phillips Neighborhood

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Reducing Harm In The East Phillips Neighborhood

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SHRS is a two-year-old, volunteer-driven nonprofit that works primarily in south Minneapolis, applying harm reduction strategies to community safety with a special emphasis on people who use intravenous drugs. Their main activities include naloxone training, sterile syringe & works delivery; street outreach; along with skillshares to spread knowledge and resources throughout the community. Two question streams guided this research: How do residents of East Phillips perceive and interpret drug use in their neighborhood? How do residents of East Phillips define safety in relation to their neighborhood? What pathways toward that definition are they aware of and willing to pursue? The research consisted of a survey and interviews which data was collected from 75 members of the East Phillips neighborhood. A partial inductive analysis was conducted using a qualitative data analysis software (Nvivo 12), which was cross referenced with our quantitative findings. Key findings from this research include: Respondents generally defined safety as a place where people of various ages can be outside and mingle without emotional or physical discomfort or fear. They believe that residents, elected officials and organizations are mutually responsible for creating and maintaining safety. Respondents associate a lack of safety with the prevalence of neighborhood drug use When the need for drug use-related emergency services arises, respondents were most interested in accessing mental and medical health supports. They were not interested in facilitating arrests. Our data shows overwhelming support for key harm reduction strategies, including needle exchange and overdose kit training. Four recommendations emerged from this research: 1. Expand naloxone training with a focus on young adult residents. 2. Explore ways to get as many used needles off the street as sterile needles are distributed. 3. Prioritize exploring the feasibility of and investing in a supervised injection site in East Phillips. 4. Use report findings to build relationships with East Phillips organizations, leaders, and residents.


Capstone paper for the fulfillment of the Master of Public Affairs degree.

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Ambriz, Ronnie; Jirik, Alison; Kelly-Collins, Erin; Vanhala, Joan. (2020). Reducing Harm In The East Phillips Neighborhood. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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