PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — JOLT Harm Reduction will begin moving to its new location on 2203 N Sheridan Rd. in Peoria Saturday, Jan 15.
JOLT announced the move in December. The new location is larger and will be strategically located across the street from the Peoria County/City Health Department.
“This new facility will allow us to accommodate our recent growth while allowing for future growth. It is also a more functional space and will allow us to better serve the community.”JOLT Harm Reduction
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. Schnaffner 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.