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Mayor Kenney: Man Suffers Fatal Drug Overdose Inside Home 'Steps Away' From Proposed South Philly Safe Injection Site

Updated at 7:30 p.m. Thursday: Constitution Health Plaza has canceled plans to open the safe injection site at the South Philadelphia location. 

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Mayor Jim Kenney revealed on Thursday that a 31-year-old man suffered a fatal drug overdose inside a home just "steps away" from the proposed safe injection site location in South Philadelphia. Kenney is a proponent of safe injection sites.

On Wednesday, inside a home on South 15th Street, steps away from the proposed location of a future overdose prevention...

Posted by Mayor Jim Kenney on Thursday, February 27, 2020

"I don't know this man's name, his story, or whether he might have visited an overdose prevention site if one were available to him. But I do know this — that man was someone's son, and a mother and father are likely experiencing something today that no parent should bear. A family has been broken forever, and the potential that this young man possessed has been snuffed out to the disease of addiction. If nothing else, we must recognize this, and also recognize that every single life lost prematurely, is a tragedy," Kenney said in a Facebook post.

Safehouse heard from some outraged South Philadelphia residents on Wednesday during a contentious press conference, who said they were blindsided about the planned location at the Constitution Health Plaza at Broad and McKean Streets.

Kenney said the City of Philadelphia "will do everything" to prevent unintended consequences that might come from safe injection sites.

"It's fair to be concerned about what kind of unintended consequences may come from such a site, and the City will do everything we can to prevent them. If a site is established, the City is committed to ensuring that there is no increase in the sales of illegal drugs, violent crime, property crime, disorderly related offenses, or loitering in the vicinity of an overdose prevention site. Additionally, we will make sure that all people using the site respect residents' and businesses' property. We have committed to increase police protection for the neighborhood," Kenney wrote.

U.S. Attorney William McSwain has filed an appeal to stop the opening of the South Philly site.

The safe injection site could open as early as Monday, but sources say the request for more community input into Safehouse will likely delay next week's tentative opening. Sources say Philadelphia city officials will require Safehouse to hold more community meetings before opening.

Philadelphia City Council is meeting Thursday to discuss the site.

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