After identifying with a women’s story we featured earlier this week, one local Saultite decided to take matters into her own hands.
After work yesterday, Katura Michellica, started her trek at John Street Park, the location where Destanie Macleod stepped on a needle.
“I saw a woman’s post on Facebook, she was with her dog [and he] got off his leash, she was chasing it on the flip flops [and] stepped on the needle went straight through her shoe. She lived right around the corner from me,” said Michellica. “So I went checked out the park. I didn’t find any needles in the John Street Park, but I remembered another one where there [were] needles all over the trail, by Wardlaw’s, just by that Creek. So, I went over there. And sure enough, I picked up seven needles and then thought, you know what, let’s just check all downtown, see what we can find?”
Her trek took her through the downtown alleys, streets and many of the hidden nooks and crannies. In the few hours she was out, she picked up 68 needles. When word got back to Macleod, she was appreciative.
“We just need this opioid crisis and paraphernalia’s all over, under control. I want to thank those who took the time to read and learn to be more aware. Also a huge thank-you to the person who volunteered and gathered 68 used needles some capped and uncapped. It’s very risky touching any of that. You are a secret superhero,” said Macleod.
Michellica thinks there are a combination of things causing the discarded needle issue. From lack of city staff cleaning it up, right down to the user.
“I think the primary issue is that they’re giving brain altering substances to people and expecting them to have the respect and responsibility to return them to a safe drop spot. I don’t think so.” said Michelleica.
After talking with her last night, she told SaultOnline she will be doing this more often.
“Whenever I have free time, I’m just gonna keep looking around. If that’s the difference between someone’s kids stepping on a needle or their dog, it’s worth it.”
When she is unavailable to help, citizens do have other options.
John Bouma, Manager of Infectious Disease at Algoma Public Health, gives this advice.
“If needles are found on public property in Sault Ste. Marie, residents may call Public Works at 705-759-5201 to arrange for pickup and proper disposal by City staff.”
Stay with SaultOnline as we bring you more information regarding our ongoing opioid crisis.