Our History

2011

  • Inspired by the 2010 National Harm Reduction Conference in Austin, Texas, informal connections formed between Baltimore area students dedicated to harm reduction, which led to weekly meetings that laid the groundwork for forming BSHRC.
  • The initial focus was on harm reduction education, which was lacking in many school curricula, specifically, hosting seminars and film screenings at local universities.

2012

  • BSHRC membership expanded to include health professionals and community members.
  • Formalized volunteer partnership with the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) Community Risk Reduction Services (CRRS) Needle Exchange Program, guaranteeing volunteer placement at needle exchange for interested BSHRC members.
  • A BSHRC delegation attended the 2012 National Harm Reduction Conference in Portland, Oregon, delivering several presentations.
  • Established Advisory Board comprised of local and national leaders experienced in harm reduction and the policy and political landscape in Baltimore.

2013

  • Hired first full-time staff member, Jennifer Kirschner, as Executive Director.
  • Policy Committee established, drafted and advocated for the “Good Samaritan Law”, which passed in 2014.
  • BSHRC increased profile as leading harm reduction advocates, with members joining State Overdose Advisory Committee and Baltimore City Needle Exchange Advisory committee.
  • Began providing harm reduction trainings at university student organizations, focusing on drug and alcohol use and sexual assault.
  • Established new volunteer partnership with Transgender Action Group (TAG), providing safer sex supplies to street based sex workers in Old Goucher/lower Charles Village.

2014

  • BSHRC became the first non-governmental organization in Maryland to provide overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND) trainings to third parties.
  • OEND program held 16 overdose response trainings and distributed over 250 naloxone kits to community bystanders.
  • Four overdose reversals reported using BSHRC-provided naloxone, and was featured on Washington D.C.’s NBC4.
  • First crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo raised over $6000 to help provide more harm reduction education, trainings, and naloxone kits to the Baltimore community.
  • BSHRC led local organizing efforts for 2014 National Harm Reduction Conference in Baltimore, culminating in the highest-ever participation from a local host city.
  • BSHRC Policy Committee drafted an expanded Syringe Exchange Access bill, introduced in Annapolis.
  • Jennifer Kirschner interviewed by Harm Reduction Coalition for their podcast series.
  • Added third student chapter.
  • Hired new Executive Director, Mark Sine.