Dangerous crowd threatens medical clinic

Direction 180 finds harsh welcome from fearful communities.



One of the city’s busiest health clinics is at risk of gang retaliation after expanding its operations to new neighbourhoods.

Direction 180’s mobile clinic has been helping some of the most vulnerable members of the HRM for the last two years. They’ve been able to increase their service to four different locations around the city, including Fairview and Spryfield. That’s meant faster help for their clients.

“We’ve literally eliminated the wait list for treatment,” executive director Cindy MacIsaac tells the media. Just two years ago there were over 300 people waiting for help, but now? “[Patients] can get treatment within a couple of days of making contact with us.”

That doesn't impress some aggressive locals, however, who are trying to push the public health service out of their communities through intimidation and threats. The CBC identifies one adult male who's forming a (petition) mob in opposition to the free health service’s efforts in easing societal suffering.

“We don’t want this,” the man says about the mobile clinic which helps reduce crime and disease in his neighbourhood. “It shouldn’t be here in a residential area.”

Another woman says she will forcibly confine her children rather than let them be exposed to community health care.

“Why should we have to keep the kids inside during that time of day just because they've chosen a corner of a commercial parking lot to rent,” she says, making a lot of really smart, well-argued points.

MacIsaac says she realizes not everyone likes the clinic, but has no plans to stop helping others for free. In fact, undaunted by the menacing behaviour of her neighbours, MacIsaac plans to expand the service to help even more area residents.

Direction 180 has been serving the Halifax community for over 13 years. The non-profit endeavours to improve their clients' mental and physical health through medicine, counselling and advocacy. They provide a welcoming, non-judgemental atmosphere, unlike some jerks.

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