What Those in Power Are Missing About the Opioid Epidemic

Trish Perry organizes weekly outreach for homeless populations in Newark, Ohio. (William Widmer / Redux)

On a street corner in Newark, Ohio, every Saturday, rain or shine, Trish Perry distributes harm-reduction supplies—syringes, Neosporin, saline, and the overdose-reversal drug naloxone—to people who use drugs. She also provides food, clothing, tents, and blankets to the more than 75 people who stop by each week. Set up in a grassy lot shaded by a scrawny hackberry and a silver maple, her outreach efforts are funded purely by donations. Sometimes health-care workers will check wounds; sometimes a stylist will offer free haircuts. The people who come here for aid know that Perry isn’t going to ask them for personal information or expect anything in return.