AA&D is partnering with MASS Design to develop a set of design criteria and recommendations for improving the spaces and services provided to drug users and homeless individuals living in Durban, South Africa.
The City of Durban has embarked on a fast-track mission to address the needs of drug users and homeless individuals living in the Central Business District. Part of this plan is to improve existing facilities and expand services to meet the needs of this growing population. Over the last six months, AA&D and MASS have engaged in working discussions with city officials including the Deputy Mayor and the City Manager and partners from Durban University of Technology (DUT) and TB HIV Care to discuss the philosophy and architecture needed to meet the needs of Durban’s growing drug user community. A general consensus was reached through these deliberations that an integrated centre should be established for low-income and homeless people with a substance-use disorder. This interdisciplinary partnership between AA&D, MASS Design, DUT, TB HIV Care and the City of Durban presents an opportunity to apply evidence-based interventions to meet the unmet needs of drug users and homeless individuals in the city with the overall aim of reducing the harms associated with drug use for individuals, their families, and the community.
AA&D and MASS Design have been asked by city officials to contribute to a comprehensive brief that will inform design criteria and recommendations for the improvement and development state-of-the-art facilities to treat opioid addiction and deliver comprehensive harm reduction services. This work, spearheaded by AA&D Partnerships Lead Michael Wilson, builds on AA&D's past work to extend access to life-saving harm reduction resources including naloxone.
AA&D and MASS are currently engaged in discussions with drug users, social workers, and service providers across the wider Durban metro area to understand the impact of structural space on the delivery of care and support for this population.