Recovery centers get $1.5 million in grants for opioid fight

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Kentucky Opioid Response Effort (KORE) has announced the award of four grants to support the establishment or expansion of four Recovery Community Centers. The grants total $1.5 million to be awarded over two years.

New grant recipients include Recovery Café in Lexington, Achieving Recovery Together (ART) in Winchester, and Shepherd’s House in Nicholasville.

 Voices of Hope (VOH) Recovery Community Center in Lexington, which had previously received KORE funding in support of its services, will receive a new round of funding to launch mobile recovery support services to more communities within the Lexington, Frankfort, and Louisville areas.

“The grants will provide a tremendous lift with the implementation of expanding access to the recovery support services,” said Governor Andy Beshear. “It’s always good news when more Kentuckians have more opportunities to embrace these services, which are proven to improve the overall wellbeing of those in need.”

“KORE is happy to support the establishment of additional recovery community centers to build on our infrastructure of support services in Kentucky,” said Dr. Katherine Marks, KORE Project Director. “Recovery Community Centers provide an array of services that help individuals get the support they need within their own communities to build recovery capital and sustain long-term remission and recovery.”

Eric Friedlander, secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, of which KORE is an agency, said, “We are grateful to these organizations and the communities they serve for partnering with us to expand access to life-sustaining recovery services in our Commonwealth.”

In 2019, KORE announced funding awards to six Recovery Community Centers in Lexington, Louisville, Manchester, Hazard, Newport, and Paducah to provide centralized resources for community-based recovery supports. Since that time, all six centers have opened, linking over 3,300 individuals to various services, including employment support, mutual aid, legal aid, peer support, and networking with others in the recovery community.

The new grantees will receive funding utilizing State Opioid Response (SOR) dollars, a federal grant awarded to the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in support of state opioid response efforts. The new centers are expected to open by in early 2021.

Grant recipients said the additional funding arrives at a critical time as community-based organizations continue to address effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including an increase in overdose deaths and individuals in recovery who experience a return to use.

“Because of the rise in isolation and overdose deaths with Covid-19, we need a mobile recovery center to truly meet people ‘where they are’. We will provide strength based recovery support services to empower people who use drugs, people experiencing homelessness and people living in historically underserved neighborhoods to improve their health and wellbeing and reduce their risk of overdose.” said VOH Program Director, Amanda Fallin-Bennett, PhD, RN.

Grant dollars will help RCCs expand services and reach more individuals from the recovery community, furthering the mission of opioid response efforts in the commonwealth.

“Recovery Café Lexington is honored to be a new recipient of KORE funding,” said Joshua Mauldin, RCLex Co-Founder. “This grant will significantly increase our capacity to serve folks who are struggling with addiction, mental health issues, and homelessness. Our operating hours will more than quadruple as we launch innovative peer-based services aimed at empowering vulnerable folks to find stability through community. We are an organization run by and for people in recovery and we are keenly aware of the ongoing challenges facing our state. We are grateful for this opportunity and hope our work will help Kentucky heal.”

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