Abbotsford residents and community groups gather in Jubilee Park as part of international overdose awareness day on Aug. 31.

Abbotsford residents and community groups gather in Jubilee Park as part of international overdose awareness day on Aug. 31.

International overdose awareness day recognized in Abbotsford

People have gathered to spend the night in Jubilee Park to raise awareness about issues of drug use and homelessness



Tents, teepees and barbecues are set up in Abbotsford’s Jubilee Park as people gather to recognize international overdose awareness day.

Abbotsford residents, members of the 5 and 2 Ministries, the Abbotsford chapter of the BC/Yukon Drug War Survivors and the Portland Hotel Society of Vancouver gathered to socialize, and for many, spend the night in the park.

The group gathered around 4 p.m. on Saturday and plans to stay until 10 a.m. Sunday morning.

The internationally celebrated day is designed to raise awareness about the effects of drug overdose and the stigma around drug-related deaths.

Ward Draper, of 5 and 2 Ministries, said they gathered in the park to bring people together to discuss issues surrounding drug use and homelessness, and answer their questions or concerns.

“It’s important to be able to create dialogue,” he said. “We want to tell people we’re here to talk.”

The group has set up tents, a teepee and other sleeping arrangements to prepare for the evening.

“You can’t get more… public and open than this.”

Draper said they are encouraging people to stop by Jubilee Park to talk and get to know other members of their community.