June 29 2020 0comment

United Way Awards $98,000 in County Jail Mentoring Grant from Substance Use Disorders Impact Council

The United Way of the Wabash Valley announced a grant award from its Substance Use Disorders Impact Council that is working to lower the amount of drug-related arrests in our community.  Earlier this year, the council solicited applications from community organizations to support or expand upon mentorship programs available in our county jails with a focus on substance use in order to support and prepare inmates for sobriety and reentry.  From the application process, volunteers evaluated and selected 3 programs to receive a total of $98,000 over the next two years.  The programs receiving funding include:

  • Child-Adult Resource Services – will provide MRT certified facilitator/mentor with men and women groups in the Parke County Jail including follow up services once released from jail.
  • Next Step Foundation – will provide mentoring support for men and women who are incarcerated in Vigo, Parke, Clay, Vermillion, and Sullivan county jails with a target goal to provide 120 mentoring relationships per year total for all 5 counties.
  • Hamilton Center – will focus on youth at the Vigo County Juvenile Detention Center.

The United Way’s Substance Use Disorders Council focuses on well-rounded approaches to substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery solutions in support of United Way’s bold goal for the community to move 10,000 families out of financial struggles and into stability.  With the amount of substance use arrests growing in our community, the council is committed to measuring, reporting and reducing the number of substance-use-disorder-related arrests and reach those who are suffering from substance use disorder while in jail.  Research from the Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that 77% of drug offenders released were rearrested within five years, and nearly half of those within the first year of release.  This grant will allow individuals to begin their path to recovery while in jail with the goal of continuing that journey upon their release.

“It was very encouraging to see the variety of programs that applied for this grant opportunity.  It gave our volunteers incredible options to create an impact on the lives of youth and adults across the Wabash Valley,” explained Jordan Orwig, the Substance Use Disorder Resource Team Chair.  “We understand if we can decrease the number of habitual offenses and to aid in helping individuals into recovery, we can begin to turn the tide on the effects that substance use disorder is having on our entire community.”

“This grant builds upon the work already begun by the United Way’s Substance Use Disorders Impact Council.  Their first grant to create Peer Recovery Specialists and now this grant creates an overarching approach to being able to curb the effects of substance use disorder in the Wabash Valley,” explained Richard Payonk, Executive Director of the United Way of the Wabash Valley.  “We are so proud of this council for breaking down silos and working collaboratively with local law enforcement, treatment providers and non-profits to address substance use disorder.  We know that these relationships will have a long-term positive impact on our community and United Way’s bold goal.”