NYHRE, a 501(c)(3) organization, is rooted in social justice and human rights principles. We bring those principles to bear every day as we work to reduce the adverse conditions surrounding drug use in East Harlem and the South Bronx.
We promote the health, safety, dignity, and well-being of those marginalized, often homeless, low-income persons who use drugs. We work with drug users, their families, their communities.
We work with those who must rely on commercial sex for basic subsistence.
We work with people recently released from New York State and City correctional facilities.
We work with the homeless – and others who have been marginalized.
We serve the poorest of the poor, the young, the middle-aged, those over 50. Our participants are white, Hispanic, African-American, male, female, transgender, and gender non-conforming. We serve many people who are living with HIV and/or Hepatitis-C. All want to live with dignity.
A Little History
Originally called the “Bronx/Harlem Needle Exchange”, we opened our doors in the late 1980’s as a grassroots, underground needle exchange run by ACT UP and other activists in response to the AIDS crisis. The government and existing service providers refused to provide sterile equipment to people injecting drugs, who were being disproportionately infected and affected by HIV.
In July 1992, NYHRE became one of the first illegal syringe exchange groups to become legal under a waiver of the drug paraphernalia laws by the State of New York. Soon after, NYHRE received its first funding from the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR). Additional funding followed from the New York State Department of Health - AIDS Institute.
For more than two decades, NYHRE has served as an effective advocate and service provider in the Bronx and East Harlem for incredibly stigmatized individuals who very few organizations are able to reach and engage in services. NYHRE’s ability to build trusting relationships and make effective one-on-one connections with people who face large-scale discrimination and have been reluctant to access health care or social services is crucial to improving the health of individuals and communities.
NYHRE’s participants represent the poorest, most dispossessed people living in New York City and the United States. NYHRE’s peer-based model of programming and staffing ensures that participants can discuss their experiences and are able to access services in an open and safe environment.
Over time, as the needs of constituents changed, NYHRE has expanded the services offered to include drug treatment, support groups, mental health services, case management and referrals to other agencies and services.
Our philosophy has always been one that seeks to break out of the institutional models that often stigmatize and discriminate. Instead, NYHRE works to minimize the harmful effects of illicit drug use.
NYHRE believes drug users themselves are the primary agents in reducing their drug use. We work to empower them so that they have accurate, up-to-date information and can have a voice in programs and policies designed to serve them.
New York Harm Reduction Educators (NYHRE) is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting the health, safety and well-being of marginalized, low-income persons who use drugs or engage in sex work, their loved ones and their communities. NYHRE recognizes the historical, structural, socio-economic and environmental inequalities that foster adverse outcomes among drug users and sex workers, particularly those from communities of color. Vigorously advocating for social justice, we strive to redress these disparities by providing vital resources, tools and support that enhance quality of life and facilitate the prevention of diseases disproportionately affecting persons who use drugs or engage in sex work, including HIV and viral hepatitis. To this end, we deliver integrated health and social services that promote physical, psychological, social and spiritual wellness. Utilizing a grassroots approach, we prioritize peer involvement in all aspects of our programming.