Meeting the Moment

In the last two years, Meeting the Moment has provided essential care to more than 800 people.

Meeting the Moment, funded by Health Canada, integrates street health, addictions medicine, and primary care interventions. In partnership with Nine Circles Community Health Centre, Meeting the Moment provides acute, episodic care beyond the bounds of traditional health care settings.

Systemic and institutional barriers deny many of us access to the health services we need. Meeting the Moment seeks to engage community members who are unsheltered, who use drugs, and who experience social exclusion, with barrier-free primary care.

Together with established community partners, Meeting the Moment offers a wide variety of interventions such as STTBI testing and treatment, addictions medicine, harm reduction supply distribution, advocacy and mental health support, and system referrals.

With an additional year of funding from Health Canada, Meeting the Moment can continue this critical, life-saving work.

Part of the evaluation for the project has been completed through storytelling and we invite you to listen to the stories shared by partners and participants.

Test that Shit Study: A Drug Testing Pilot Project Winnipeg

People who use drugs (PWUD) in Winnipeg have reported changes to the availability of
substances since the onset of the COVID-19. Anecdotal reports indicate price fluctuations and
scarcity of methamphetamine (meth, crystal meth) with more street opioids available than

The purpose of this project was threefold:
1. Assess acceptability of Take-Home FTS use among people who use drugs in
Winnipeg, Manitoba;
2. Determine a rough estimate of the presence of fentanyl in Winnipeg’s illegal drug
supply, and;
3. Determine if Take-Home drug testing results affect an uptake in safer drug use
practices among PWUDs.

Test That Shit: A Drug Testing Pilot Project Winnipeg

Other Past Research Projects

Aboriginal Youth and Youth at Risk:  Assessing Access Barriers

This project aimed at beginning a process of engagement with Aboriginal youth and youth at risk, as well as targeted youth serving agencies, to inform short term efforts that can be undertaken through program planning. One part of the project focused on youth living with HIV while the other part of the project focused on youth at risk. This project was funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Social Supports, Informal Caregiving and HIV/AIDS: A Community-Based Study (Caregivers)

Nine Circles, along with partners from the University of Manitoba, All Nations Hope AIDS Network of Regina, AIDS programs South Saskatchewan and the Manitoba PHA Caucus were funded through the Canadian Institute of Health Research for Social Supports, Informal Caregiving and HIV/AIDS: A Community-Based Study (Caregivers). The Caregivers study used photo-based research with the understanding that photography can open doors of communication that other means may not. Participants were given cameras and asked to take pictures of their lives. Through debriefing sessions of the photos, the study aimed to establish a clear picture of the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS, their informal caregivers, and how their networks of support are created and sustained.

Point-of-Care HIV Testing (POCT) Demonstration Program

Research into Point-of-Care HIV testing (POCT) has exhibited that it is an appropriate and feasible model for increasing HIV testing, thereby facilitating earlier diagnosis, linkage to care and reducing the possibility of transmission. It has also proven to be helpful for hard-to-reach populations. In early 2008, POCT became a reality in Manitoba with the test being available at Nine Circles Community Health Centre. Data was collected to assess the feasibility of this model of testing. High accuracy, reliability, and client satisfaction with POCT was demonstrated.

Housing and HIV Assessment Project (Housing)

One of the greatest challenges faced by people living with HIV is retaining an affordable, stable place to live. Housing status is also one of the most important factors in determining an individual’s access to healthcare and consequential success in living well with their HIV infection.

This community-based needs assessment was conducted to understand the issues that people with HIV face with regard to housing, in order to: increase awareness of needs, identify existing gaps, and make recommendation for change. The goal was to determine the factors and themes that could enable the development of housing projects or programs to improve the quality of life and health of people with HIV.

WinMap: A Feasibility Study of Geographic Mapping of Places in Winnipeg with High Levels of HIV-Related Risk Activity (WinMap)

The Win-Map Feasibility Study was a collaboration between Nine Circles Community Health Centre, the University of Manitoba and Public Health Agency of Canada. This study examined HIV/AIDS related high-risk activities as a function of geography, and located places in Winnipeg with high levels of HIV-related risk activity. The methodology consisted of identifying lcoations where high-risk activities for HIV acquisition take place, estimating the number of persons involved in these activities, and profiling these locations. This study collected information on the needs for additional HIV prevention services among persons involved in high-risk activities at these locations.

Improving Access to Services for Immigrant and Refugee Communities (Improving Access)

In partnership with Sexuality Education Resource Centre (SERC) in response to the growing numbers of New Canadians living with or at risk of HIV, and funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada, the project has generated a comprehensive Environmental Scan and Needs Assessment to support service providers throughout the region in planning effective and appropriate services. Nine Circles has secured access to the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) Language Access program, to ensure access to trained health care interpreters in over 12 languages, and significantly strengthened our capacity to provide quality care to New Canadians living with, and at risk for HIV.

Nowhere Near Enough: A Needs Assessment of Health and Safety Services for Transgender and Two Spirit People in Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario (Trans Needs Assessment)

Nine Circles completed a transgender community needs assessment which supported members of the community to highlight challenges in the areas of access to health, social services and safety. This project was funded through the Crime Prevention Branch of Public Safety Canada. The assessment shows participants are at high risk for serious threats to physical and mental health, quite apart from the need for access to sex reassignment procedures. The assessment highlighted the difficulty in accessing transition services and other vital mental and physical health services, as well as insensitivity and a lack of knowledge in mainstream service providers, and the limited number of trans-competent service providers. Another strong finding of the needs assessment was participants living in poverty or near-poverty, often unemployed, underemployed, or unhappily employed, unable to present their real sex/gender identity in the workplace.

Adherence Coordination Services in Winnipeg Pilot Project (Adherence)

This project targeted people living with HIV/AIDS (PHAs) experiencing multiple barriers accessing HIV care and treatment. Specifically, this included people with: unmet financial or subsistence needs, people who are isolated and lack adequate social supports, individuals with mental health concerns, and people struggling with addictions.

The project employed a Peer Outreach Worker (POW) to work with these PHAs through capacity building and outreach activities in order to foster improved adherence and access to care. The outreach worker’s role was to connect with these ‘hard to reach’ clients on a regular basis and support them to identify and address issues that are deterring them from accessing referral services. Among the key learnings identified as a result of this project: Peer outreach workers are an effective means of reaching marginalized populations.