Arches Lethbridge is voicing concerns over a local business owner publishing pictures and videos of the facility’s clientele and staff on social media.
Some of the pictures are showing up on public Facebook pages while other clientele are being shown on a live YouTube stream.
Director of Operations, Jill Manning, admits some of the posts do show public drug use and the agency is doing what it can to curtail that activity.
However , she says the majority of the posts are of people who are simply accessing ARCHES services and she believes the intent behind publishing the pictures is to shame and dehumanize an already vulnerable and marginalized population.
Manning also points out that ARCHES offers seventeen programs out of two locations and only one of which is Supervised Consumption Services.
She says some clientele who attend ARCHES for addictions counseling, queer health services or indigenous cultural supports, aren’t using those services anymore for fear they’ll be falsely portrayed as a drug user online.
Manning says as an agency it’s taking steps to deal with this invasion of privacy and infringement on human rights.