Meet Natalie Kaminski
Peel Region, Ontario
My name is Natalie Kaminski. I’m a Harm Reduction Outreach Worker in the Region of Peel and I also run the Peel Drug Users Network group which is an online community of drug users. There’s about 500 members, 300 or so active online, and it’s made up of drug users and people with lived or living experience of drug use. So family members, other frontline workers, people who have lost folks, and then obviously active community members.
I cover Caledon to the border of Etobicoke. It’s massive. It’s 1.48 million people. Where Regent Park for instance covers Regent Park. And South Riverdale covers South Riverdale. And so being such a large region, I’ve got to learn how to like move throughout the region and connect to different areas. And then our region is made up of three cities, all of them very different. If you look at, like, Mississauga is more urban, and Brampton is more suburban, and Caledon is more rural. So you’re going to have to have different approaches. And how are you going to connect with folks when there isn’t those services that are in catchment areas to go to, and reach out to people because they’re spread out across, you know, 1.48 million people in three cities.
Being able to do this work as a member of my community, I’m also able to share that piece with folks and give folks the same education and treatment and privileges that I received from having great bosses that gave me those opportunities. Whether it’s connecting them to other folks or being by their side, just people need to know that they have a place in their community to make a difference.
So I have no white rings of powder under my nose on camera that you can see, right?