NOW YOU CAN PLAY WITH NEEDLES ON THE BOARDWALK –
July 22, 2021 – Tibbitt has been so incensed about this supposed syringe “litter”—which the closure of Oasis would, of course, only increase—that he took state officials on a trip to collect his haul earlier in the week. It has been a disappointing and stressful summer for harm reductionists in the Garden State. In early June, Harney, the SJAA lead, was surprised to discover that City Council members were considering repealing the ordinance that allows Atlantic City’s SSP to legally operate.
She then thought that she had uncovered a solution for everybody involved, including her detractors: Oasis would move to the Atlantic City Rescue Mission. It would be a bit of a trek from the beach, where critics were complaining about discarded syringes, but still centrally located enough that many who visit, most of whom walk, could still do so. The Casino Reinvestment Authority, a state governmental agency, had also said that it would pay for renovations to Oasis’s new building, which the AC Rescue Mission ran. (SJAA would pay the rescue mission rent.) In Harney’s mind, it would be an updated social services hub, with a shelter, a drug treatment center and a harm reduction agency in the same spot. It would no longer be in the tourism district.