FROM OUR CEO
Mark Jenkins, a service-connected disabled Veteran of the United States Air Force and Founder / Executive Director of the Connecticut Harm Reduction Alliance (CTHRA), formerly the Greater Hartford Harm Reduction Coalition (GHHRC). Mr. Jenkins has worked in the field of Harm Reduction and Public Health for the past twenty-four years, delivering innovative prevention/interventions to the most vulnerable members across the state of Connecticut. Mr. Jenkins started in the field as an AIDS Risk Reduction Outreach Worker (ARROW) for the Perception programs in Willimantic. In his subsequent work with Community Renewal Team (CRT) and the Hispanic Health Council he further cultivated progressive strategies for reaching and delivering services to our most difficult-to-reach populations.
Mr. Jenkins’s work in some of the most troubled neighborhoods in the state has given him a unique perspective of the history of drug trends, the dynamics of associated risks, and effective public health responses. Over a decade on the Staff at AIDS Project Hartford as a Drug Treatment Advocate providing HIV/HCV counseling and testing, syringe exchange, and other harm reduction services. Mr. Jenkins developed a service network of providers that continues to benefit both client and staff of the various providers alike. The breadth and depth of his connection with folks on the street and the service community has made Mark a well respected and widely known individual in this field. He has presented nationally and internationally about best practices for working with the drug using community.
Executive Director, CEO
CONNECTICUT HARM REDUCTION ALLIANCE
As of October 2020, SWAN is a program of the CT Harm Reduction Alliance, under the leadership of Executive Director Mark Jenkins.
This means that SWAN is part of the CTHRA team, and CTHRA is part of the SWAN team. It is an incredible opportunity to work as a part of this statewide team of dedicated harm reduction advocates.
In July 2020, SWAN suffered the indescribable loss of our friend and beloved community advocate, Jason Crowell. In addition to being SWAN’s Outreach Director, Jason was also a Substance Abuse Counselor with Cornell-Scott Hill Health Center. He was a recent graduate from Southern Connecticut State University’s Master of Social Work program with plans to start his Master of Public Health this fall.
As many know, Jason was a tireless community advocate and harm reductionist. He dedicated himself to supporting and building power with people most marginalized and dehumanized in our world. It is impossible to capture his profound impact on so many lives over the years. He was passionate about ending the war on drugs, opening safe injection sites, and uprooting stigma against drug users and other oppressed people. He fought, humbly and unapologetically, with and for his communities.
We will miss, every day, Jason’s compassionate and courageous spirit. He was a beacon of hope and love to many. We know Jason can never be replaced, but we will do our best to carry forward his legacy and honor his visions of justice and a better world for all.