The idea that Santa Claus is a draconian tyrant who indiscriminately deems people "naughty" or "nice" based on a few indiscretions or moments of clarity just isn't true. Santa sees the whole you, and Santa doesn't judge. But he does think you should be safe, meaning that you should practice safe sex and not share needles. This video produced for CitiWide Harm Reduction in the Bronx shows Santa showering his children with syringes and Magnum condoms, and also answers the age-old question: Is Kris Kringle a narc?


"We’re at the frontlines of trying to take care of a very marginalized population … that is highly stigmatized and a lot of people don’t care about,” CitiWide's executive director tells DNAinfo. “So we’ve got to be creative and do stuff like Santa videos.” The video was made for free by two generous producers, and features staff, peers, and clients who work and spend time at the center, which is on East 144th Street.

Started as a needle exchange program in 1995 by a heroin addict, CityWide has grown to provide rapid HIV and hepatitis C testing, housing assistance, counseling, internet access, and thanks to a recent renovation, haircuts and food. As the final statistic in the video notes, HIV rates among drug users in the South Bronx have fallen from 54% to 4% since CityWide has been passing out clean needles. That effectiveness is ignored by the federal government, as it has continually blocked federal funding for needle exchange programs.

The housing care manager at CitiWide who played the role of the drug user, Marlow White, said he was dubious about the video's lighthearted tone, but was reassured when he saw the final product. “I thought to myself, ‘It was good they made it funny.' A lot of time, in the midst of people’s sufferings and sorrows, it can be hard to find laughter.”