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Angels on the Head of a Needle: Constructing Socially Meaningful Space in a Syringe Services Program
AuthorLee, Lisa C.
AdvisorStiles, Erin E.
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People who inject drugs, people experiencing homelessness, people living with HIV andothers converge daily within Change Point, Nevada’s first syringe services program inReno, Nevada. Although Change Point has an official designation to provide sterileinjection supplies, safe sex supplies, education, and HIV and hepatitis C testing, it alsoprovides a radically inclusive social space for various individuals existing on the marginsof Reno life. This project focuses on the ways in which staff, volunteers, and consumerscreate and maintain a socially inclusive space while drawing upon harm reductiondiscourse. Drawing upon the work of Michel de Certeau, as well as literature on spatialjustice and third space (Oldenburg 1989, Soja 1996), I argue that various actors construct,maintain, and (re)define a meaningful space beyond the public health discursiveframework of harm reduction and provide social support to one another while contestingnotions of stigmatized identities.