NEW YORK (PIX11) – The Alliance for Positive Change is an organization that provides low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic health conditions including addiction with access to care. They have a harm reduction center in Manhattan and on International Overdose Awareness Day, it took its mission on the road.

Sitting outside Washington Square Park on Thursday was their mobile van.

Ashley Lynch is a recovering addict and outreach coordinator for the organization.

“We bring harm reduction tools to the community to people who are actively using [and] to the homeless,” Lynch said.

They laid out a handful of those tools on a table outside the van.

Among those tools were fentanyl and xylazine testing strips for drug users to see if the deadly chemicals are in their drug supply.

Clean needles were also available with a bag of new syringes in a clear package.

“This helps to prevent from people passing HIV, Hep C,” Lynch said.

Safe injection kits were there too which included information on how to inject safely and came accompanied with alcohol swabs, bandages, and gauze.

They also gave out clean and new glassware for those who smoke their substances.

“We do this because people also share their pipes and their stems and that can cause a transmission of a lot of different ailments and diseases as well,” Lynch added.

All these tools have caused controversy over the years, but the organization argues that they are critical in reducing overdose deaths and preventing the spread of disease.

Earlier this year, the city’s health department released data saying 2,668 people died of drug overdoses in 2021 which is a 78% increase from 2019.

The Alliance also has a doctor available to prescribe medication assisted treatment for opioid addiction.

Dr. Glenn Jeffery is a board-certified psychiatrist and has worked with the group for eight years and has seen people get stable on the medication and go on to have families and start careers.

“I have a schoolteacher – a New York City school teacher,” Dr. Jeffrey said. “I have someone who works in addiction treatment. I have somebody who’s in graduate school.”

Lynch has been sober for one year and said this is her way of giving back to the community.

“I have experienced an overdose myself,” Lynch said. “Someone helped me with the use of Narcan and that’s why I can stand here today and talk to other people about this.”

The organization also provides resources for food, housing, and medical care.