About Us

In early 2021, we jumped into action to provide a direct response to people and communities most at risk of encountering, witnessing, or experiencing an opioid overdose. We began providing free specialized training and supplies directly to the community. We have trained over 250 high risk community first responders. The Johnston-Brais Initiative transformed to the Community Responder Network in late 2021, a new not-for-profit organization was born.

“We are strong supporters of empowering people with skills and training. We want to give [the community] the tools and skill sets to draw from when responding to an opioid overdose. Saving one life is worthwhile, and we want to help others save as many as possible.”

CEO NICK RONDINELLI Executive Director

Initiative was created

Initial goals were to:

  • Identify/mitigate health and safety gaps in Toronto shelters from opioid poisoning and Covid-19.
  • Provide strong recommendations for the revision of shelter standards regarding overdose response, staff training, protective equipment (Bag-Valve Mask), and how to use 4-peice PPE.
  • Empower and prepare shelter staff and outreach workers through skills development and training.
  • Circumvent the unnecessary deaths resulting from opioid poisoning, particularly in our shelters and community.