PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Jolt Harm Reduction is expanding services in a new location on Sheridan Road in Peoria.
The rapidly-growing organization packed up and moved from their Adams Street on Saturday, Jan. 15. A move that Chris Schaffner, program director, said the old building lacked appropriate storage space and had become to crowded to even have private conversations.
“We’ve got 10 staff now, we manage nine…eight, nine grants, and we are just bursting at the seams.”
JOLT is a nonprofit that provides services and programs that reduce harm and address risks associated with drug use. Schaffner said the new facility is big enough to help them continue their mission for years to come.
“Over the last 12 months, we’ve seen a 50 percent decrease in fatal overdoses in Peoria County, and that is opposite of the national trend,” Schaffner said. ” We want to continue to expand our ability to impact surrounding counties.”
Kshe Bernard, JOLT’S outreach supervisor, said the larger space gives them room to expand important services, such as STI testing, medication distribution, and patient care coordination.
“We have a nurse on staff now. We’re going to have an exam room in the building so we’ll be able to do check ups,” Bernard said. “We’ve also partnered with the OSF Street Medicine so that’ll have a space.”
Bernard said their new central location is more accessible to people than the last one, helping them take on more people.
“I’m going to be able to connect more clients to care and get more of our clients tested and connected to services,” Bernard said.
Schaffner said he looks forward to being able to help more people and improve public safety across the city.
“This not only allows us to accommodate our recent growth, this will also allow us to continue to grow without pushing the bounds of the building or the space we are in, so we envision us being in this building for quite a long time,” Schaffner said.
JOLT is scheduled to reopen Tuesday, Jan.19. They plan to have an open house in February.