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katal newsletter – september 28, 2017

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In this issue:

Imani Brown, Katal’s Organizing Coordinator

Katal Supports Overdose Prevention in Homeless Shelters

Katal Presents on Pre-Arrest Diversion at NY Recovery Conference

imani brown, katal’s organizing coordinator


We are excited to announce that Imani Brown is taking on a new role at Katal as our Organizing Coordinator! Imani began working with Katal in early 2017 as a Community Organizer. In her new role, Imani will be focused on building out collaborative partnerships with other base building groups, advocacy groups, service providers, faith groups, families and other stakeholders. She’ll also play a more prominent role in building out and facilitating organizing, advocacy, and leadership trainings in Connecticut, New York, and around the country. To get in touch with Imani, you can email her at or call 347-450-0181.

katal supports overdose prevention in homeless shelters


(Photo by VOCAL-NY)

At Katal, we work to promote public health approaches to drug policy. Health-based interventions are especially urgent in this moment of crisis as we simultaneously face the opioid epidemic and record levels of homelessness in New York City. NYC’s opioid overdose fatalities reached 1,374 in 2016 — a 46% increase from 2015 — and overdose is the leading cause of death in homeless shelters. Fortunately, these deaths are preventable and the City Council can take action to save lives.

That’s why we joined VOCAL-NY and others for a rally and press conference outside New York City Hall this week in support of Int 1443. The bill would require key Department of Homeless Services (DHS) staff to be trained to recognize and respond to overdose, and to be equipped with naloxone. (Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that rapidly reverses an overdose.) Homeless outreach, shelter staff and residents can and should receive overdose prevention training and carry naloxone. It’s time for the City to take action.

katal presents on pre-arrest diversion at ny recovery conference 


Next week is the New York State Recovery Conference, and Katal will be there to talk about harm reduction based interventions. On Monday, October 2, Keith Brown — Katal’s Director of Health & Harm Reduction– will present on a panel discussion on pre-arrest diversion and alternatives to incarceration. Keith helped spearhead the effort to establish the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program in Albany, NY. LEAD is a pre-arrest diversion program where, instead of making an arrest for low-level offenses, trained police officers divert people to a case manager, who assists the person to receive non-punitive, harm reduction-based intensive service programs. On this panel, Keith will talk about his work with LEAD and how it can provide an entry into recovery for some. Details about the conference can be found on this page.

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