Willow

Willow Giesinger is a co-representative for the Northern Health region of BC on the board of BCYDWS. She has lived experience with substance use to mitigate trauma and PTSD caused by being homeless at the age of 15 years old. Willow still uses substances and am open about why and that allows me to advocate for others. Willow has a bachelor's degree in First Nation studies and has successfully represented individuals in family court and with MCFD. Willow started a non-profit organization that provides advocacy, emergency relief and food hampers to struggling families. This organization goes out twice a week and do late night outreach and feed people on the streets around a fire that they have permission from local first Nation bands to be fire keepers of. They also do naloxone training and follow up debriefing to anyone who has administered it. They recently were awarded the imagine grant to acquire a warming trailer to increase their capacity to do outreach and are fundraising for insurance and operational funds. Willow also intercepts car60 calls as that team is being used to exercise control under the mental health act and not to provide-mental health assistance as advertised.