For over 30 years, Breakaway Community Services has been providing compassionate, client-centered support for people who use drugs in our community. Using a non-judgmental approach that meets our clients where they’re at and empowers them to develop and achieve their own goals, Breakaway helps our clients reduce the harms associated with drug use, while improving their overall health and wellbeing. Our services are offered through community-based facilities with a focus on street and community outreach. At Breakaway, we provide treatment that includes all aspects of our clients’ lives and situations. We have always operated from a trauma-informed and harm reduction approach, which forms the philosophical basis for all our work. Additionally, through education, advocacy, and a focus on community wellbeing, we’re working to end the stigmatization of drug use, and bring the needs and lives of people who use drugs to the forefront.
Breakaway coordinates eight programs, each designed to meet diverse needs and demographic groups. These programs include:
The Satellite Clinic
The Satellite Clinic is an outpatient, community-based service that provides a range of supports for those seeking help with their use of opiates. The services offered include opiate agonist prescriptions, counselling and case management, a food bank, and health education, among others.
Family and Youth Initiative
According to Statistics Canada, youth between 15 and 24 have the highest rates of mental health and substance use concerns. The Family and Youth Initiative (FYI) was designed to meet this need. This program is one of the only harm-reduction based substance use services for youth and their families in Toronto. With a team of outreach staff and counsellors, the program gives youth accurate information about substances, helps youth advocate for themselves, and provides space to address the underlying causes of substance use through counselling.
Addiction Supportive Housing
In partnership with Regeneration Community Services, the ASH program provides substance use support for those who require stable housing. The goal of the program is to increase the health and wellbeing of people with problematic substance use by providing stable housing and appropriate support services.
Pieces to Pathways
Pieces to Pathways (P2P) is Canada’s first harm reduction service designed to specifically for LGBTQ2S+ youth. The program is run by queer and trans staff who have their own experience of substance use and recovery. The program provides harm reduction supplies and education, case management and counselling services, a trauma skills group, and a drop in night. After a long hiatus, P2P is moving back to in-person programming, and has resumed community meals where queer and trans youth can connect with others and get support around their substance use.
Harm Reduction Counselling and Supports Team
The Harm Reduction Counselling and Supports Team (HRCST) is designed to reduce the barriers that people experience when accessing support for their substance use. With a team of counsellors and case managers, HRCST provides outreach services across Toronto. The team meets clients where they’re most comfortable, with the goal of ensuring that everyone is able to get the support they need. Services include harm reduction supply distribution, case management services, crisis intervention, and one-to-one counselling and support.
Toronto Opiate Support Team
The Toronto Opiate Support Team provides support for those who use opiates and replacement medications, who have little or no access to services. The team provides outreach counselling services, and works collaboratively with other agencies to provide holistic, compassionate, and flexible support. The program is designed specifically to meet the needs of seniors, youth, and women.
Grief, Loss, and Wellness (GLoW) Initiative
Breakaway’s Grief, Loss, and Wellness (GLoW) Initiative was established in 2020, after a recognition of the extreme grief and loss frontline workers face due to the overlapping drug poisoning and COVID-19 pandemics. GLoW provides a variety of services such as one-to-one counselling and body-based supports and drop in nights. This year, the program has grown to include capacity building workshops for other organizations, and a warm line through which frontline workers can access immediate grief support.
Through Ruff Times
Through Ruff Times (TRT) is a program designed to help people preserve their relationship to their pets as they navigate difficult situations such as homelessness, mental health and substance use challenges, and violent living conditions. The goal of this program is to support people in taking care of their pets, so that they can better take care of themselves. With a team of volunteers, TRT provides no cost, temporary emergency pet care options for people struggling with various challenges. The program also provides pet food and supplies for those who need it and helps with vet care.